On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries
Charles Sheeler saw the modern equivalent of the imposing religious architecture of the past in the expansive, streamlined masses of factory buildings and refineries. Incantation, whose very title sounds like a spiritual evocation, is a fragmentary view of a continuous-flow oil production plant. Here Sheeler reduced the architectural forms to a more two-dimensional design in which shadows play as weighty a role as the metal tanks and pipes. The lack of a human presence suggests the degree to which these vast plants had come to be viewed as nearly autonomous forces.
Oil on canvas
24 1/8 x 20 1/8 in. (61.3 x 51.1 cm)
frame: 32 3/4 x 38 3/4 x 3 in. (83.2 x 98.4 x 7.6 cm) (show scale)
Signed and dated lower right: "Sheeler -- 1946"
Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund and John B. Woodward Memorial Fund
Charles Sheeler (American, 1883-1965). Incantation, 1946. Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 20 1/8 in. (61.3 x 51.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund and John B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 49.67 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 49.67_SL1.jpg)
overall, 49.67_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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