Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Memo

1956 Stuart Davis Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1892 Died: New York, New York 1964 oil on linen 36 x 28 1/4 in. (91.5 x 71.7 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation 1986.6.19 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

Although working with abstracted forms, Stuart Davis always considered himself a realist and devised a kind of artistic shorthand for this “memo” about Gloucester harbor. Ship masts and wharf structures are schematically suggested by intersecting white lines below a white circle that floats like the moon against a night sky. The foreground is a tangle of overlapping red and green planes punctuated by letters and numbers. The word “ANY” at the bottom left refers to Davis’s belief that any subject can be transformed into art; the number 8 his reference to infinity.


Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014

Keywords

Abstract - geometric

Object - letter

Object - numeral

painting

paint - oil

fabric - linen