Thank you Stuart Davis

I recently had the great pleasure of seeing the Stuart Davis (1892-1964) retrospective show at the Whitney Museum. I have always been drawn to his paintings but knew very little about his work. He is known for combining everyday American consumer products found in advertisements with his very unique brilliantly colored hard edge modern style. My attraction has been his powerful primary pallet and the tremendous energy that his work exudes. The hard edges and flat color reminded me of Matisse‚Äôs cutouts and I assumed they were made from cut paper.I was so surprised to discover that they were meticulously constructed with oil paint. What appeared to be so energetically free was really so tightly planned and executed . 

When I started out in my licensing business I was designing mylar balloons . I wanted to be sure that there was no confusion about the colors I intended so I presented my work in Pantone cut papers. It worked really well, the shiny papers mimicked the bright final look of the balloons and the presentations had the successful impact that I intended. I am always amazed when I see a painting that appears to be so spontaneous and loose and then at close examination it is so obviously complicated in its construction. I am continuously striving to achieve a sense of freedom and spontaneity in my own work. The more I paint I am constantly challenged to make that happen. I highly recommend this terrific show especially at the spectacular Whitney Museum. Thank you Stuart Davis, your paintings inspire me to keep going!

Stuart Davis- In Full Swing-June 10 Through Sept. 25, 2016

 

 

mary ellis