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Poster Boy

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

Stuart did a lot of looking.

Stuart did a lot of painting.

Stuart set up an egg-beater, and painted pictures of it.

Again, and again, for decades.

This was serious business.

Prints by Stuart Davis, abstracts of the same egg-beater
Stuart the Poster man - beating that egg! Abstract prints.

As one of America's best-known 20th Century Modernists, Stuart Davis was a firm believer in abstraction. That he was able to re-interpret exactly the same setting many times, over many years, shows his seriousness about using the scene only as a starting point. He even nailed the objects down!

You can see a fairly obvious, cubist-like version in the first image. But the later ones, despite being enjoyable and suggestive of a still-life in a room, reveal almost nothing egg-beatery.

This has given me courage. If an egg-beater on a table can lead to so many pictures, then so can....well, anything! Including any drawing, any painting, any photograph. Even a "bad" work of art.

Black line art drawing of shapes inspired by Paul Klee
Early stage in my abstract from "Klee Letters"

In a previous post I showed a work-in-progress. It's been my "egg-beater" for the last month: it's spawned 7 distinct designs, and I feel like I've only just started.

The lesson for me? If you apply your mind and your own aesthetics and concepts to a setting, it can become a world of exploration and discovery.

Stuart Davis drew, painted, and printed posters. He's also my Poster Boy for Abstraction!

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