By Miles Orvell
Ebook by means of Orvell, Miles
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Extra resources for After the Machine: Visual Arts and the Erasing of Cultural Boundaries
The American artist was usually more serious, more ambivalent, more worried about the ravages of "mechanical civilization," as Rosenfeld put it. What made Stieglitz such a central figure to this generation of modernists was his symbolic role within the art world: he was not only editor of Camera Work and advocate of modern art (Stieglitz had been showing cubists several years before the Armory Show); he was, as a photographer, the master of the quintessentially "modern" machine, the camera. As Paul Strand put it in his famous essay, "Photography and the New God,'' Stieglitz established "spiritual control over a machine" and thus offered the model for modern civilization.
In 1993; and to Emory Elliott, who first inspired that invitation. In addition, I want to thank Mike Weaver, of Oxford, for prompting me, in 1991, to think about Lewis Hine in the context of a special issue of History of Photography on Hine. My thanks also to Gail Stavitsky, Curator at the Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey, for inviting me (in 1993) to contribute an essay to the catalogue she was editing on Precisionism (appearing here as "The Artist Looks at the Machine"). Several of the chapters in this volume appeared initially as articles in journals or as chapters in books, and I want to thank the following publishers for permission to reprint them here: Page x Harry N.
Following his early exposure in France to the new art of Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and especially Cézanne, Sheeler began painting landscapes and still lifes in two dimensions, as cubistic problems of color and abstract form. And his fascination with the clean lines of his Doylestown homethe stairways and windows and doors photographed and sketched from various anglestrained his eye in linear formal problems. Yet another powerful influence was the camera, taken up in 1910 for commercial reasons, first in photographing buildings for Philadelphia architects, then in recording objects for galleries and museums (Stebbins and Keyes 2).
After the Machine: Visual Arts and the Erasing of Cultural Boundaries by Miles Orvell