Stuart Davis: In Full Swing


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Softcover | 30.3 x 2.1 x 25.4 cm | 250 pp

Prestel | 2016 | 9780894684050

This book pays tribute to the mature work of Stuart Davis, a distinctly American artist whose work reflected the sights, sounds and rhythms of popular culture.

Beginning in 1921, a series of creative breakthroughs led Davis away from figurative painting and toward a more abstract expression of the world he inhabited. Drawing upon his admiration for the works of Cezanne, Leger and Picasso, Davis developed a style that would over the next four decades evolve, challenge and influence contemporary art. Davis's visionary depictions of modern life and culture both high and low remain relevant more than 50 years after his death.

Focusing on the images and motifs that became a hallmark of his career, this book features approximately 100 works-from his paintings of early 1920s tobacco packages, the abstract Egg Beater series and the WPA mural works from the 1930s, to the majestic works of his last two decades.

The authors take a critical approach to the indelible influence Davis had upon contemporary art and the traceable impact his earlier work had upon his later masterpieces. They also offer important biographical perspectives and discuss Davis's unique ability to assimilate into his art not only the lessons of Cubism, modernism and abstraction, but also the imagery of popular culture, the aesthetics of advertising and the sounds and rhythms of jazz-his great musical passion.

Presenting newly discovered primary documents, including photographs and excerpts from the artist's writings, the detailed chronology is, in effect, the first-ever Davis biography. Together, these elements create a vital portrait of an artist whose works hum with intelligence and energy.

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