Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stuart Davis at the Whitney

In 1913 when the young American painter Stuart Davis exhibited a few watercolours in New York's famous Armoury Show he found a new direction in the work of the Paris avant-garde painters (Picasso, Matisse and Dufy).
He began to paint ordinary objects in a constructivist style. Bull Durham. 1921.
Landscape with Saw, 1922. Oil and pencil on canvas mounted on board. 
 Lucky Strike, 1924. Oil on paperboard.
Super Table, 1925. Oil on canvas. John and I think the paintings still look very fresh.
Davis went to Paris in 1928 and did some wonderful cityscapes. Rue Lipp, 1928. Oil on canvas.
Place Pasdeloup, 1928. Oil on canvas. 
 Place des Vosges No. 2, 1928. Oil on canvas.
He also had his own take on cubism. Egg Beater No. 2, 1928. Oil on canvas 
When he returned to the United States he resolved to make a statement about America. Town Square, c. 1929. Watercolour, gouache, ink and pencil on paper.
 New York -- Paris No. 2, 1931.
Landscape with Garage Lights, 1931-32
Final study for Radio City Music Hall Men's Lounge Mural, 1932.
Swing Landscape, 1938. Oil on canvas
 Composition, 1939. Gouache on paper.
Little Giant Still Life (Black and White Version), 1953. We love Davis' preparatory drawings.
In 1953 Davis is already anticipating the bright flat colours of the Pop Art of Roy Lichtenstein and Alex Katz. Little Giant Still Life.
Oh, and those lovely studies!
We were so lucky to see Stuart Davis: In Full Swing which has now closed.
Tropes de Teens, 1956.

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