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Stuart Davis

Born 1894, USA.  Died 1964

Stuart Davis went to Paris in the late 1920s already influenced by Cubism. His subject matter for still lives were cheap every-day products whose brand names dominated the image. Odol (1922) a mouth wash dispenser, can be seen with hindsight to be the prototype, the forefather of the American Pop Art of Warhol's generation. In 1943 Davis made a list of things that had influenced his paintings, quoted in Robert Hughes's The Shock of the New, Art and the Century of Change (BBC 1980):

 ' . . . the brilliant colors on gasoline stations, chain-store fronts, and taxi-cabs; the music of Bach; synthetic chemistry; the poetry of Rimbeau [sic]; fast travel by train, auto and aeroplane, which brought new and multiple perspectives; electric signs ... 5 & 10 cent store kitchen utensils; movies and radio; Earl Hines hot piano and Negro jazz music in general; etc. In one way or another the quality of these things plays a role in determining the character of my paintings ... Paris school, Abstraction, Escapism? Nope, just Color - Space Compositions celebrating the resolution in art of stresses set up by some aspects of the American scene.'


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