Whitney Museum of American Art
Stuart Davis: In Full Swing will be presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City from June through October 2016 and is co-organized by the Whitney Museum and the National Gallery, Washington D.C.
Stuart Davis (1892–1964) ranks as a preeminent figure in American modernism. With a long career that stretched from the early twentieth century well into the postwar era, he introduced a distinctively American accent to international modernism. Davis’s work feels especially vital today with its blurring of distinctions between text and image, high and low culture, and abstraction and figuration. This exhibition departs from previous efforts in its organization. From 1940 on, Davis rarely painted a work that did not make careful reference, however hidden, to one or more of his earlier compositions. Such appropriation is a distinctive aspect of Davis’s method, and this will be the first major Davis exhibition to consistently hang later works side by side with the earlier ones that inspired them. With approximately 100 works, dating from the early 1920s to the work left on his easel at his death in 1964, In Full Swing will highlight Davis’s unique ability to assimilate the imagery of popular culture, the aesthetics of advertising, the lessons of Cubism, and the sounds and rhythms of jazz into works that hum with intelligence and energy.