Charles Sheeler - Photographs New York Thursday, April 4, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist
    Collection of David McAlpin
    Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    Stebbins & Keyes, Charles Sheeler: The Photographs, pl. 63
    Stebbins, More and Haas, The Photography of Charles Sheeler: American Modernist, p. 182

  • Catalogue Essay

    Charles Sheeler was one of the main proponents of a specifically American strain of Modernism which he pursued with equal mastery in painting, drawing, and photography. His commercial assignments for Ford Motor Company and Fortune magazine, amongst others, afforded him the means to pursue his artistic endeavors, including his celebrated project at Chartres Cathedral in 1929. Recognizing that the building’s beauty and grandeur could not be properly documented in a single photograph, Sheeler sought to create a series of images, each focused on a particular section of this gothic tour-de-force. In the present photograph, Sheeler captures the light as it hits the south façade with the cathedral casting a figurative shadow on its surroundings. This shadow, paired with the strong vertical planes within the image, is a perfect example of the compositional precision that Sheeler carried across media throughout his career.

    This print was originally in the collection of David McAlpin who, beginning in the 1920s, assembled one of the foremost early collections of photography, which he gifted to institutions including the Princeton University Art Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Property from a Private West Coast Collection


Chartres, South Side from Street

Gelatin silver print.
13 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (34.3 x 26.7 cm)
Signed, titled 'Chartres' and dated in ink on the reverse of the mount.

$30,000 - 50,000 

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New York Auction 4 April 2019