Art: The Old Precisionist

At 81, with his right arm paralyzed, Charles Sheeler is nearly beyond accolades. Like blueprints of a new aesthetic, his precision paintings were the reductio ad minutam of the machine age. He mixed the academicism of his teacher, William Merritt Chase, with the cubist masters, made a living as a photographer until his immaculate industrial visions caught on. He could refine the reality of a locomotive's monstrous driving wheels so that even when they are frozen in two dimensions, their tremendous momentum leaps out.

A stroke stopped Sheeler's production in 1959. Some of his last works, now on view in Manhattan's Downtown...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!