Charles Sheeler developed a unique late style in his artwork, featuring geometric shapes and monochromatic color palettes. He still depicted urban architecture and industrial facilities, but instead of volumes, he simplified them to flat planes and kept the details to a minimum. One of his greatest works – Suspended Power – from 1939, showed the powerful simplicity of a locomotive from an abstract perspective. Another work from 1932 was River Rouge Plant which was treated in an abstract-realist style with photographic quality. Throughout his pieces, Charles concentrated on material items like structures and machinery.
Charles Sheeler captured the urban future with his work during the interwar period in America with compelling visual references that still hold true today. His trademark style and stark compositions continue to offer us a fresh look on the world’s industrial power that had continued to climb in society after World War I. Specifically, River Rouge Plant is one piece where this visual language emerges with its exploration in how humans interact daily with mechanical objects such as factories, automobiles and craftsmanship tools.