Stuart Davis (1894–1964),
was an american American painter. He grew up in an artistic environment,
for his father was art director of a Philadelphia newspaper, who had employed
and other members of
He studied with Robert Henri 1910–13, made covers and drawings for the
social realist periodical The Masses,
which was associated with the
and exhibited watercolors in the
which made an overwhelming impact on him. After a visit to Paris in
1928–29 he introduced a new note into US
basing himself on its Synthetic rather than its Analytical phase.
Using natural forms, particularly forms suggesting the characteristic
environment of American life, he rearranged them into flat poster-like
patterns with precise outlines and sharply contrasting colors
(House and Street,
Whitney Museum, New York, 1931).
He later went over to pure abstract patterns, into which he often
introduced lettering, suggestions of advertisements, posters, etc.
(Owh! in San Pao,
Whitney Museum, 1951).
The zest and dynamism of such works reflect his interest in jazz.
Davis is generally considered to be the outstanding American artist
to work in a Cubist idiom. He made witty and original use of it and
created a distinctive American style, for however abstract his works
became he always claimed that every image he used had its source in
observed reality: ‘I paint what I see in America, in other words I
paint the American Scene.’