Stuart Davis

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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.

Quotes of Stuart Davis[edit]

  • I think of Abstract Art in the same way I think of all Art, Past and Present. I see it as divided into two Major categories, Objective and Subjective. Objective Art is Absolute Art. Subjective Art is Illustration, or communication by Symbols, Replicas, and Oblique Emotional Passes. They are both Art, but their Content has no Identity. Their difference cannot be defined as a difference of Idiom, because all Paintings have the Laws of Design as a common denominator. Design exists as an Idiom of Color-Space Logic, and it also exists in an Idiom of Representational Likenesses. Objective Art and Subjective Art exist in both Idioms. Their difference can only be defined in terms of what the Artist thinks his Purpose means-its Content as a Design Image.

  • I paint what I see in America, in other words I paint the American scene.
    • Cited in: Ian Chilvers, "Davis, Stuart," in: The Oxford Dictionary of Art, (2994). p. 195

Quotes about Stuart Davis[edit]

  • Stuart Davis.. one of but few, who realized his canvas as a.. .. two-dimensional surface plane.
    • Arshile Gorky, in Stuart Davis, Creative Art 9, September 1931, p. 213
  • For a brief time, roughly between 1912 and 1918, The Masses became the rallying center-as sometimes also a combination of circus, nursery, and boxing ring-for almost everything that was then alive and irreverent in American culture. In its pages you could find brilliant artists and cartoonists, like John Sloan, Stuart Davis, and Art Young; one of the best journalists in our history, John Reed (journalist), a writer full of an indignation against American injustice that was itself utterly American; a shrewd and caustic propagandist like Max Eastman; some gifted writers of fiction, like Sherwood Anderson; and one of the few serious theoretical minds American socialism has produced, William English Walling. All joined in a rumpus of revolt, tearing to shreds the genteel tradition that had been dominant in American culture, poking fun at moral prudishness and literary timidity, mocking the deceits of bourgeois individualism, and preaching a peculiarly uncomplicated version of the class struggle. There has never been, and probably never will again be, another radical magazine in the U. S. quite like The Masses, with its slapdash gathering of energy, youth, hope.
    • Irving Howe Introduction to Echoes of Revolt: The Masses, 1911-1917 by William L. O'Neill (1989)
  • We all grasped on everything new, and despite the atmosphere of New York [ in the 1930's] worked on everything but our own identities. I make exceptions for Graham and Davis, especially Davis, who though at his least recognized or exhibited stage was the solid citizen for a group a bit younger who were trying to find their stride.

External links[edit]

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