Oil on Canvas
25 1/4 x 31 inches
Signed and dated lower right
Iconic American painter and photographer Charles Sheeler first turned to American industry as subject matter in the late 1920s, and returned to the theme regularly throughout his career. He came to greatly admire the functional and utilitarian beauty of industrial design. Sheeler’s flat planar treatment and severe reduction of forms, as well as his emphasis on geometry and pattern, developed out of his renewed interest in Analytical Cubism in the early 1950s.
In the early 1950s, Sheeler received several important industrial commissions, the majority of which were arranged by Edith Halpert and the Downtown Gallery in New York. These included commissions to visit Meta-Mold Aluminum (now Amcast Industrial) Corporation in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Inland Steel, near Chicago, Illinois, and the General Motors Laboratory in Warren, Michigan. He received the commission from Meta-Mold upon the suggestion of the company’s chairman of the board Otto Spaeth, who formed a major collection of modernist American art. Meta-Mold Aluminum Corporation was a subsidiary of Spaeth’s company, the Dayton Malleable Iron Company. It created a large variety of products, including castings and die cast parts made of aluminum and magnesium metals, which they produced for a variety of American firms.