Sheeler -- Chartres Cathedral, 1929
A Pictorial Essay, with quotations from Charles Sheeler
All Nature has an underlying abstract structure and it is within the province of the artist to search for it and to select and rearrange the forms for the enhancement of his design. It is also within the province of the photographer to seek the sa
me underlying abstract structure and, having found it to his satisfaction, to record it with his camera, with an exactitude not to be achieved through any other medium.
The result is an image which has passed through a lens and having been projected upon a sensitized emulsion makes an inalterable record of the thing seen.
I find myself unable to believe in Progress--Change, yes. Greater refinements in the methods of destroying Life are the antithesis of Progress.
Where is the increase in spirituality to be found?
The gap between Heaven and Earch widens rather than diminishes. It is easy to believe, looking out of the car window, that we are going somewhere fast when it may be only the landscape is moving. We too readily take for granted one of the great gifts be
stowed upon us--our eyes. We seldom use both of them. What are we saving the other one for when they were designed as a pair?
I only know of two instances where use of one eye is adequate for the occasion--looking through a camera at a given subject and looking down a rifle barrel at the target. Both one and the same in principle.
The curse upon us is that we may only discern the thing when it is on the horizon--either in advance or retreat--in the moment that we pass the edges are blurred and the form unrecognized.
To a man who knows nothing, Mountains are Mountains, Waters are Waters, and Trees are Trees. But when he has studied and knows a little, Mountains are no longer Mountains, Waters are no longer Waters, and Trees are no longer Trees. But when he has thoro
ughly understood, Mountains are again Mountains, Waters are again Waters, and Trees are Trees.
It is known that the amoeba is indispensable to the welfare of man. It is a hope that man is indispensable to the welfare of the amoeba.
I like to think that operating on alternating current is the only desirable basis.
[All quotations are taken from Charles Sheeler by The National Collection of Fine Arts--see the Bibliography section for full listing]