Born this day in 1883 was American artist Charles Sheeler. His work Syscrapers, on view in Made in the USA, was the first painting by the artist to enter a museum collection. It is one of Sheeler’s most accomplished assimilations of European modernism into a uniquely American style know today as precisionism. Sheeler elicited beauty from the stark reality of New York office buildings and the utilitarian aspects of industrial America.
Earlier this month, Xavier Veilhan installed Jean-Marc, his first permanent public sculpture in the U.S., a stone’s throw away from MoMA on the corner of 53rd Street and Sixth Ave. in New York City. Photos of the installation are up on the artist’s website. On a trip to attend the opening of Wolfgang Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut at MoMA, Phillips Director Dorothy Kosinski passed the giant blue sculpture and immediately noted “there seems to be a nice artistic symmetry between 53rd Street NYC and Q & 21st in D.C.” The sharp edges and larger-than-life quality of the sculpture do indeed bear a striking resemblance to Veilhan’s The Bear outside the Phillips.