Stairway to the Studio
Charles Sheeler, American, 1883 - 1965
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Empty hallways and endless staircases were favorite subjects of Sheeler, although he denied that his fascination with these Surrealist motifs owed anything to the images of that artistic movement. In this most austere of his stairway compositions, we are faced with stark contradictions between plunging perspective and abstract surface pattern, and between matter-of-fact realism and the haunting loneliness of the stairway climbing to infinity. This particular staircase led to Sheeler's studio above the Whitney Studio Club on West Eighth Street in New York.