The Chimney Sweep
The Chimney Sweep, 1936
Oil on canvas
145.4 x 113.4 cm (57 1/4 x 44 5/8 inches)
Gift of Mrs. Peggy Guggenheim 54.188
This volumetric figure reflects Hélion’s interest in classical form. Informed by his earlier experiments with abstraction, it demonstrates his belief that he had arrived at a balance of “curves and obliques … that started to feel like nature again.” Its enclosed shapes, distinguished by flat or shaded colors, emerge and recede on harmonious, geometric fields. Their precision and metallic tones impose a Machine Age order, even as the separate elements appear to float within the composition.
Hélion exhibited this painting in New York in 1942 at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery, a venue of artistic exchange that encouraged the acceptance of modern art in America.
European Paintings and Sculpture, ca. 1770 - 1937
Edited BySlimmon, Ann H, and Judith A. Singsen, eds.
Contributions byRosenfeld, Daniel, et al
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1991
TypeMonographs and CollectionsExchange Exhibition, Exhibition ExchangeFrom the Collection of Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; From the Collection of The Museum of Art, Rhode
Contributions byMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. Waltham, MA: Rose Art Museum, Brandesi University., 1967