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High-pitched art

Sometimes a painting is deafening:

Giorgio de Chirico’s “The Soothsayer’s Recompense”

The scene seems perfectly quiet except for the distant throb of the train. But lines and color create the kind of hard-sun, no-cloud day that feels like scoring glass with a diamond.

I caught a traveling exhibition of the Phillips Collection at the Denver Art Museum, which finally introduced me to a few more of these loud-through-shadow artists.

Ralston Crawford - Boat and Grain Elevators No. 2 (1942)
Gowanus Bay Terminal, author’s own photo (2016)

Stefan Hirsch achieves this same sharpness, even in a nighttime scene:

Stefan Hirsch’s “Untitled” (City Nocturne) (1929)

(Curiously, there’s a lithograph version of this same scene that claims it depicts Bush Terminal, but Bush Terminal is square, without bastions in each corner, and it has no arched overpass like the Brooklyn Army Terminal.)

Brooklyn Army Terminal, author’s own photo (2019)

Sheeler, too, captures this warmthless winter sun screeching against an unsettling, windowless tower:

Charles Sheeler’s “Skyscrapers” (1922)

I’ll update this as I encounter more of these wonderful paintings.