Stuart Davis: In Full Swing
Barbara Haskell and Harry Cooper
Stuart Davis was one of the few great artists who brought a distinctively American flavor to international modernism, ranking among artists such as Alexander Calder, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe. In blurring the distinctions between text and image, high and low culture, and abstraction and figuration, his work continues to challenge and influence contemporary art. This exhibition and catalog present an exciting but lesser-known artist to a new generation in order to secure his rightful place in the modern canon.
While previous shows have primarily been retrospectives, Stuart Davis: In Full Swing will focus instead on Davis's brilliant sequence of breakthroughs that began in 1921 and ended only in 1964 with his death. With approximately 100 works, including his paintings of early 1920s tobacco packages, the abstract Eggbeater series, and his WPA mural works of the 1930s, as well as a selection of majestic works from his last two decades, the exhibition and catalog will highlight Davis’s unique ability to assimilate the imagery of popular culture, the aesthetics of advertising, the lessons of cubism, and the sounds and rhythms of jazz—his great musical passion—into works that hum with intelligence and energy.
In addition to essays by cocurators Barbara Haskell and Harry Cooper, this catalog features a detailed chronology of Davis’s life and works. Although Davis wrote a short autobiography and some limited chronologies exist, this chronology draws upon new primary documents, including numerous photographs and excerpts from his writings. As such, it will be in effect the first-ever Davis biography and, in combination with the catalog’s other texts, will advance the scholarship and interpretation of his art.
288 pages | 185 illustrations | 9.5 x 11 inches
Coming May 2016