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New York Waterfront

© Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

New York Waterfront

© Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

New York Waterfront

© Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Stuart Davis

American, 1892-1964

New York Waterfront, 1938

oil on canvas

support: 22 x 30 1/4 inches (55.88 x 76.83 cm); framed: 23 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 2 inches (59.69 x 80.01 x 5.08 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1943

RCA1943:6

Currently On View

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, undated / middle right / STUART DAVIS
inscription / original stretcher (before relining) / N.Y. Waterfront Stuart Davis 1938

Provenance

Downtown Gallery, New York;
sold to the Albright Art Gallery, March 9, 1943

Class

Paintings

Work Type

Oil painting

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

As a young man, Stuart Davis spent time studying in Paris, where he became immersed in and inspired by European modern art, especially Cubism. By 1922, however, he had already declared that his style of art would be “rigorously logical, American, not French. America has had her scientists, her inventors, now she will have her artist.” Davis’s brightly colored and energetic canvases reflect the dynamism of twentieth-century American life. The waterfront—from the bustling ports of New York to small boat harbors in New England—was one of his favorite themes. While Cubist tableaux often depict figurative or still life motifs, Davis chose instead to portray a bustling urban landscape comprising pier warehouses, smokestacks, and ship fragments. Additionally, Davis was one of the first visual artists to recognize jazz as a distinct American genre; his compositions relate to its syncopated rhythms and the diverse locations where this music thrived. The predominate use of red, white, and blue also underscores this work’s undeniable patriotic theme.

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