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Stuart Davis (painter)

Stuart Davis
Davis, 1940
Born (1892-12-07)December 7, 1892
Died June 24, 1964(1964-06-24) (aged 71)
Nationality American
Known for Painting, Modernism
Movement American modernism

Stuart Davis (December 7, 1892 – June 24, 1964), was an early American modernist painter. He was well known for his jazz-influenced, proto pop art paintings of the 1940s and 1950s, bold, brash, and colorful, as well as his ashcan pictures in the early years of the 20th century.


  • Life and Career 1
  • Public collections 2
  • Selected works 3
  • See also 4
  • References and sources 5
  • External links 6

Life and Career

Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors - 7th Avenue Style, 1940, Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Stuart Davis was born December 7, 1892 in Philadelphia to Edward Wyatt Davis, art editor of the Philadelphia Press, and Helen Stuart Davis, sculptor.[1] Starting in 1909, Davis begun his formal art training under Robert Henri, the leader of the Ashcan School, at the Robert Henri School of Art in New York under 1912.[2][1] During this time, Davis befriended painters John Sloan, Glenn Coleman and Henry Glintenkamp.[3]

In 1913, Davis was one of the youngest painters to exhibit in the Armory Show, where he displayed five watercolor paintings in the Ashcan school style.[4][5] In the show, Davis was exposed to the works of a number of artists including Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Davis became a committed "modern" artist and a major exponent of cubism and modernism in America.[4] He spent summers painting in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and made painting trips to Havana in 1918 and New Mexico in 1923.[4]

In the 1920s he began his development into his mature style; painting abstract still lifes and landscapes. His use of contemporary subject matter such as cigarette packages and spark plug advertisements suggests a proto-Pop art element to his work.[6]

In 1928, he visited Paris, where he painted street scenes. In the 1930s, he became increasingly politically engaged; according to Cécile Whiting, Davis' goal was to "reconcile abstract art with Marxism and modern industrial society".[4] In 1934 he joined the Artists' Union; he was later elected its President.[4] In 1936 the American Artists' Congress elected him National Secretary. He painted murals for Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration which are influenced by his love of jazz.[4]Davis married in 1938 to Roselle Springer and spent his late life teaching at the New York School for Social Research and at Yale University.[1]

He was represented by Edith Gregor Halpert at the Downtown Gallery in New York City.

Davis died of a stroke in New York on June 24, 1964, aged 71.[1]

Public collections

Among the public collections holding work by Stuart Davis are:

Selected works

See also

References and sources

  1. ^ a b c d Passantino, p 441
  2. ^ Cooper, Philip. Cubism. London: Phaidon, 1995, p. 120. ISBN 0714832502
  3. ^ Wilken, Karen. Stuart Davis (1st ed.). New York: Abbeville Press Publishers. p. 229.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f Cécile Whiting, "Stuart Davis", Oxford Art Online
  5. ^ Boyajian and Rutkoski pp 39-40.
  6. ^ Hills, Patricia (1996). Stuart Davis. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 58.  
  • 2007 - Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné (3 volumes) by William Agee (Editor), Karen Wilkin, (Editor), Ani Boyajian, Mark Rutkoski (ISBN 0-300-10981-4)
  • Lane, Grayson Harris (1999). Passantino, Erika D., ed. The Eye of Duncan Phillips : a collection in the making. New Haven [u.a.]: Yale University Press. p. 441.  
  • Lowery Stokes Sims et al., Stuart Davis: American Painter, 333 pages, 129 color illus., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1991.
  • Karen Wilkin 1999 - Stuart Davis in Gloucester (ISBN 1-889097-34-9)

External links

  • Stuart Davis Artwork Examples on AskART.
  • Stuart Davis Artwork Examples on ibiblio's WebMuseum.
  • Comrades in Art: Stuart Davis
  • Stuart Davis' Swing Landscape
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