Edith Halpert, The Downtown Gallery, New York

William Ward, 1959

Private Collection, California, 1993

Private Collection, Massachusetts, 2008

Exhibition and literature

Stuart Davis: Paintings and Works on Paper, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, 1992

Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski, editors, Stuart Davis: a Catalogue Raisonne, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2007, Vol.III, pp.430-1, no.1709, illus.



Davis’s career moved from journalistic illustration and Social Realism to Expressionism and finally to Cubism, which form of abstraction would define his art over the long term. Following his exposure to the “Ashcan” masters John Sloan and Robert Henri he was influenced by Fernand Leger and other modernists included in the Armory Show of 1913. In Paris he worked alongside Alexander Calder and Isamu Noguchi, and with his life-long love of jazz developed his distinctive and original style.  Study for “Pochade” #2 is one of three studies for one of Davis’s masterworks, Pochade of 1956-8 (52 x 60 in) now in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid (#1 is in a private collection in Massachusetts and #3 is in the Milwaukee Art Museum). Davis here may have been inspired by the many “pochades” or rapid sketches associated with his early mentor Robert Henri.  Characteristic of Davis’s mature work are the clearly defined planes of color and heavily applied paint, with some bold lettering.

Stuart Davis (1892-1964)
Study for “Pochade” #2, 1958

Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 in.
Signed (lower right): Stuart Davis
Painted in 1958