Edmund Lewandowski American, 1914-1998

Biography

"To me a row of ventilators possesses more beauty than a row of country trees."

Edmund Lewandowski

Edmund Lewandowski perhaps embodied the Precisionist movement's ethos with more clarity and sincerity than any of his contemporaries. Born into Milwaukee's proud working-class milieu, he brought that same optimism, consistency and drive to his art. A steady eye on a growing America coupled with a genuine curiosity for the industrial machines he so often painted bore some of the Precisionist style's most concise and elegant work during the interwar period. In the new forms and materials engineered by Lewandowski's industrial contemporaries he saw a novel—wholly American—opportunity to expand the definition of realism in painting. In this realism he set out to build representations ambitious, precise and loving enough to impress upon any viewer the aggregate ingenuity of these new monuments to progress as they stand-in for the collection of men who made them. "There is often a tenderness of the surgeon's capable hand, an icy affection acquired from a complete knowledge of the subject." (Lincoln Kirstein, American Realists and Magic Realists, New York,1943, p. 8).

Works