Thursday 30 August 2007

Wonders of World Engineering

While we seem to be embedded in an engineering groove this is a good time to share more evidence of the inter-war years obsession with construction and technology. These scans are from a companion part-work to the Railway Wonders of the World featured recently and share the same optimism about the power of scientific progress to produce an industrial utopia. The clarity of the images and the sense of overwhelming physical scale both make a strong impression. In America this genre was the playground of the Precisionist painters, foremost among them being Charles Sheeler whose passion for the forms and structures of electrical and mechanical engineering knew no limits. Nothing was so thrilling as the sight of giant turbines, capacitors or transformers and nobody, before or since has painted them with such almost erotic intensity.

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