Tag Archives: incantation

Modern Art Monday Presents: Charles Sheeler, Incantation

incantation by charles sheeler photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Charles Sheeler (18831965) saw the modern equivalent of the imposing religious architecture of the past in the expansive, streamlined masses of factory buildings and refineries. Incantation (1946), 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 presents suggest the degree to which these vast plants had come to be viewed as nearly autonomous forces.

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.