Painting VIII (Mechanical Abstraction)
Morton Livingston Schamberg, American, 1881 - 1918
This painting is one of a series of nine images of individual machines that Schamberg made in Philadelphia in 1916. The model for this work was an automated wire stitcher, a machine used in the printing industry for binding books. Schamberg found his sources for such images in illustrated trade catalogues. The elegant austerity of the composition highlights the formal beauty of machinery and foreshadows the Precisionist aesthetic developed by Schamberg’s lifelong friend Charles Sheeler.