Charles Demuth, Aucassin and Nicolette, oil on canvas, 1921

Precisionism, also known as Cubist Realism,[1] was an artistic movement that emerged in the United States after World War I and was at its height during the inter-War period. The term itself was first coined in the early 1920s.


American movement

Influenced strongly by Cubism and Futurism, its main themes included industrialization and the modernization of the American landscape, which were depicted in precise, sharply defined, geometrical forms. The themes originated from the streamlined architecture and machinery of the early 1900s.[2] Precision artists considered themselves strictly American and tried to avoid European artistic influences.[3] There is a degree of reverence for the industrial age in the movement, but social commentary was not fundamental to the style. The degree of abstraction in the movement ranged considerably from Charles Demuth's famous The Figure 5 in Gold from 1928; to Charles Sheeler's work that sometimes verged on the photorealistic. In addition to his paintings Charles Sheeler also created photographs of factories and industrial buildings as did his friend the photographer Paul Strand.[4]


Paul Strand, Wall Street, 1915

Elsie Driggs, Francis Criss, Charles Demuth, Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Herman Trunk and Georgia O'Keeffe were prominent Precisionists. George Ault,[5] Ralston Crawford, Preston Dickinson, Louis Lozowick, Gerald Murphy, Niles Spencer, Joseph Stella, Stuart Davis[6] Peter Blume, Virginia Berresford, Henry Billings John Storrs, and Miklos Suba, Francis Criss, and the photographer Paul Strand were other artists associated with the hard-edged style of Precisionism. The movement had no presence outside the United States, and although no manifesto was ever created, the artists themselves were a close group who were active throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and exhibited together. Georgia O'Keeffe, especially with paintings like New York Night, 1928-29, remained connected to Precisionist ideals until the 1960s, although her best-known works are not closely related to Precisionism, and it would be inaccurate to state that O'Keeffe was entirely aligned with Precisionism. Her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, was a highly regarded mentor for the group.

Precisionist artists have also been referred to as "Cubist-Realists", "Sterilists", and "Immaculates". Their art would have an influence on the magic realism and pop art movements.



Further reading

  • Friedman, M. (1960). The precisionist view in American art. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center.
  • Harnsberger, R.S. (1992). Ten precisionist artists : annotated bibliographies [Art Reference Collection no. 14]. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
  • Precisionism in America, 1915-1941 : reordering reality. (1994). New York: Abrams.
  • Tsujimoto, K. (1982). Images of America : precisionist painting and modern photography. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • precisionism — precisionist, n., adj. precisionistic, adj. /pri sizh euh niz euhm/, n. (sometimes cap.) a style of painting developed to its fullest in the U.S. in the 1920s, associated esp. with Charles Demuth, Georgia O Keeffe, and Charles Sheeler, and… …   Universalium

  • Precisionism — Précisionnisme Charles Demuth, Aucassiu and Nicolette (1921). Le précisionnisme est un mouvement artistique apparu au début des années 1920 aux États Unis. Influencé par le cubisme (le cubisme orphique) et le futurisme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Precisionism — …   Википедия

  • precisionism — pre·ci·sion·ism …   English syllables

  • precisionism —  ̷ ̷ ˈ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ izəm noun ( s) Usage: often capitalized Etymology: precision (I) + ism : a style of American painting of the 1920s and 1930s characterized by abstracted form, crisp contour, and static composition and usually depicting industrial… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sheeler — Charles Sheeler (* 16. Juli 1883; † 7. Mai 1965 war ein US amerikanischer Maler des Realismus. Er gilt als Hauptvertreter des Präzisionismus und einer der besten Fotografen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charles Demuth — The Figure 5 in Gold (1928) Born November 8, 1883(1883 11 08) Died October 23, 1935( …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Sheeler — standing next to a window. c. 1910. Born July 16, 1883(1883 07 16) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania …   Wikipedia

  • George Ault — Infobox Artist bgcolour = #6495ED name = George Ault imagesize = caption = Bright Light at Russell s Corners (1946) birthname = birthdate = birth date |1891|10|11| location = Cleveland, Ohio deathdate = death date and age |1948|12|30|1891|10|11|… …   Wikipedia

  • American modernism — like modernism in general is a trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation, and is thus in its essence… …   Wikipedia

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