Oil on canvas
44½ x 36 inches
Signed and dated lower right
Milwaukee-born artist Edmund Lewandowski, widely acknowledged as the preeminent second-generation precisionist and sometimes called the “Last Precisionist,” lived and worked primarily in the Midwest and is credited for extending the precisionist style beyond the East Coast, ensuring that it became a national style with enduring power.
At just twenty-two years old, Lewandowski joined Edith Halpert’s Downtown Gallery. Halpert introduced Lewandowski to Charles Sheeler in 1937, and Sheeler took Lewandowski under his wing, sharing a technique that allowed for straighter lines by painting against a hard edge. After this instruction, Lewandowski’s paintings developed a skilled geometric sharpness and he increasingly took on industrial subjects, due in part to his relationship with Sheeler and the precisionists and in part because of his connection to the Midwest. Lewandowski often referred to the “hidden beauty of industrial America,” saying “Since I was raised in Milwaukee, an industrial city, I naturally found myself tremendously interested in the industrial aspect of life.”
Lifeboat typifies Lewandowski’s great maritime works with tight and controlled brushstrokes that demonstrate the artist’s discipline.