description of Aerial Gyrations by Charles Sheeler

This two-foot-tall, one-and-a-half-foot-wide oil painting features overlapping silhouettes of tall, industrial blast furnaces. The furnaces are cylindrical, and are topped with platforms and catwalks that house banks of equipment behind horizontal railings. The furnaces are depicted from below, and rise toward the top of the canvas at slightly askew angles. Entering the canvas on our left is the work’s most dominant feature: the top of a large, dark furnace that covers a full third of the painting. On the right side, the platform of an equally large, dark-violet furnace barely enters the canvas. Between them, in the background, are silhouettes of two full furnaces, one with a pale blue cylindrical bottom and a pale violet top, and the other with a matching top, but pale yellow trunk.

Charles Sheeler, Aerial Gyrations, 1953
Charles Sheeler, Aerial Gyrations, 1953; oil on canvas, 23 5/8 in. x 18 5/8 in. (60.01 cm x 47.31 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Mrs. Manfred Bransten Special Fund purchase; © Estate of Charles Sheeler
Charles Sheeler, Aerial Gyrations, 1953

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Aerial Gyrations
Artist name
Charles Sheeler
Date created
1953
Classification
painting
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
23 5/8 in. x 18 5/8 in. (60.01 cm x 47.31 cm)
Date acquired
1974
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Mrs. Manfred Bransten Special Fund purchase
Copyright
© Estate of Charles Sheeler
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/74.78
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900 (2018)

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