American Landscape (1930) by Charles Sheeler

American Landscape - Charles Sheeler - 1930

Artwork Information

TitleAmerican Landscape
ArtistCharles Sheeler
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions24 x 31 in. (61 x 78.8 cm)
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US
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About American Landscape

Charles Sheeler’s 1930 painting “American Landscape” depicts the Ford Motor Company plant on the River Rouge near Detroit, Michigan. The painting emphasizes the abstract structured and functional volumes of the factory, however it is eerily silent with no sign of human workers or any thundering noise of this huge manufacturing complex. It is an oil and pencil on canvas piece which is housed in the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Another important artwork from this era is Kurt Schwitters’ “Oorlog” from 1930. This painting is created using mixed mediums including gouache, ink and collage, and it portrays a chaotic landscape that personifies war. This piece has been exhibited in various museums around the world such as MoMA in New York City, Tate Modern in London, Germany’s Neue Nationalgalerie, National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and many more. The work has been interpreted as a bleak commentary on WWI that serves as a warning against any similar conflagrations appearing in future generations.

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