Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Percolator

Artist:
Stuart Davis (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1892–1964 New York)
Date:
1927
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
36 1/8 in. × 29 in. (91.8 × 73.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1956
Accession Number:
56.195
Not on view
Influenced by the Cubist language of flat, overlapping planes and wedges, Davis used geometric shapes in related colors to create this still life. Here, he deconstructs the cylindrical forms of a mass-produced, percolator coffeepot and renders the everyday object both abstract and identifiable. By choosing an industrially produced consumer product as his subject, Davis put a new spin on the spatial innovations of the previous decade’s European avant-garde art movements.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Stuart Davis '27
the artist; [Downtown Gallery, New York, until 1956; sold on December 12, 1956 to MMA]

New York. Downtown Gallery. "Stuart Davis and Frank Osborn," November 26–December 9, 1927, checklist no. 3.

New York. Valentine Gallery. "Exhibition–Paintings and Water Colors: Glenn Coleman and Stuart Davis," April 12–May 12, 1928, brochure no. 2.

Fort Worth. The Fine Arts Building, Texas Christian University. "The Ninth Annual Fine Arts Festival," December 4–11, 1949, no catalogue.

Washington, D. C. Corcoran Gallery of Art. "The New Tradition: Modern Americans Before 1940," April 27–June 2, 1963, no. 22.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. "Stuart Davis," February 15–March 14, 1966, no. 12 (dated 1928).

Berlin. Amerika Haus. "Stuart Davis, 1894-1964," April 23–May 21, 1966, no. 19 (dated 1928).

London. American Embassy. "Stuart Davis, 1894-1964," June 7–24, 1966, no. 19 (dated 1928).

Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids Art Center. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," October 6–27, 1968, no. 5.

Binghamton, N.Y. Roberson Memorial Center. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," November 10–December 1, 1967, no. 5.

Huntington, W.Va. Huntington Galleries. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," December 15, 1967–January 5, 1968, no. 5.

Portland, Maine. Portland Museum of Art. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," January 19–February 9, 1968, no. 5.

Flint, Mich. Flint Institute of Arts, DeWaters Art Center. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," February 23–March 15, 1968, no. 5.

Mansfield, Ohio. Mansfield Fine Art Guild, Inc. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," March 29–April 19, 1968, no. 5.

Allentown, Pa. Allentown Art Museum. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," May 8–29, 1968, no. 5.

Kalamazoo, Mich. Kalamazoo Institute of Art. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," June 7–28, 1968, no. 5.

Ithaca, N.Y. Cornell University. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," July 12–August 2, 1968, no. 5.

Knoxville, Tenn. The Dulin Gallery of Art. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," September 20–October 10, 1968, no. 5.

College Park, Md. University of Maryland. "American Still-Life Painting, 1913–1967," October 24–November 14, 1968, no. 5.

Indianapolis Museum of Art. "Treasures from the Metropolitan," October 25, 1970–January 3, 1971, no. 40.

Newark Museum. "Niles Spencer: Friends and Influences," June 30–September 4, 1972.

The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum. "Not So Long Ago: Art of the 1920s in Europe and America," October 15–December 17, 1972, unnumbered cat. (p. 32).

San Juan. El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. "Arte del Siglo Veinte: EE.UU. del Museum Metropolitano de Arte," April 19–May 31, 1974, no. 14.

Moscow. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. "Representations of America," December 15, 1977–February 15, 1978, no catalogue.

Leningrad. State Hermitage Museum. "Representations of America," March 15–May 15, 1978, no catalogue.

Minsk, Belarus. Palace of Art. "Representations of America," June 15–August 15, 1978, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "14 Americans," July 16, 1990–January 2, 1991, unnum. checklist.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stuart Davis: American Painter," November 23, 1991–February 16, 1992, no. 63.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Stuart Davis: American Painter," March 26–June 7, 1992, no. 63.

E [dward]. A [lden]. J [ewell]. "Davis Tames A Shrew: How What Seemed 'Abstract' Proved 'Realistic'–Glenn Coleman and Picabia." New York Times (April 29, 1928), p. XX18.

Carlyle Burrows. "News and Exhibitions of the Week in Art." New York Herald Tribune (April 29, 1928), sec. 7, p. 10.

Elliot Paul. "Stuart Davis, American Painter." Transition 14 (Fall 1928), ill. p. 151.

Rudi Blesh. Stuart Davis. New York, 1960, pp. 50, 58, fig. 19.

Allen S. Weller. ART USA NOW. Ed. Lee Nordness. Vol. 1, New York, 1963, p. 70, calls it "Percolater" and dates it to 1928.

Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, pp. 145–46, ill.

H. H. Arnason in Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat., National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C., 1965, pp. 20, 35-36, calls it "Percolator," "Percolator of Contemporary Design," and "Percolator of Modern Design".

Michel-Louis Cosnil. "Stuart Davis: Rétrospective au Musée d'art moderne." Information et documents no. 225 (March 1, 1966), p. 42-43, ill., erroneously dates it 1928.

H. H. Arnason (MOD) in Stuart Davis, 1894-1964. Exh. cat., American Embassy, London. London, 1966, unpaginated, no. 19, calls it "Percolator" and "Percolator of Contemporary Design".

William H. Gerdts. American Still-Life Painting, 1913-1967. Exh. cat., Cedar Rapids Art Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. New York, 1967, unpaginated, fig. 5.

Leo Lerman. The Museum: One Hundred Years and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1969, ill. p. 333.

Sam Hunter and John Jacobus. American Art of the Twentieth Century: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, 1973, fig. 354.

Henry Geldzahler. Twentieth-Century Art U.S.A. from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Institute of Puerto RIcan Culture, San Juan. San Juan, 1974, p. 41, no. 14, ill.

Roberta Smith. "Stuart Davis, Picture-Builder." Art in America 64 (September–October 1976), p. 85, ill., notes that this is one of the artist's first works whose basic structure and compositional elements are reused in later paintings.

John R. Lane. Stuart Davis: Art and Art Theory. Exh. cat., The Brooklyn Museum. New York, 1978, pp. 81, 103, 105, 168, ill. p. 83.

Diane Kelder. "Stuart Davis: Pragmatist of American Modernism." Art Journal 39 (Autumn 1979), p. 33, fig. 10.

Patterson Sims. Stuart Davis: A Concentration of Works from the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1980, pp. 19, 26-27, ill.

Abraham A. Davidson. Early American Modernist Painting, 1910-1935. New York, 1981, p. 259, pl. 149 (reversed).

William H. Gerdts. Painters of the Humble Truth: Masterpieces of American Still Life, 1801-1939. Columbia, Mo., 1981, p. 256.

Carol Troyen in The Lane Collection: 20th-Century Paintings in the American Tradition. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1983, p. 38.

Peter Conrad. The Art of the City: Views and Versions of New York. New York, 1984, p. 125.

Patterson Sims. Whitney Museum of American Art: Selected Works from the Permanent Collection. New York, 1985, p. 92.

William C. Agee in Stuart Davis (1892-1964): Black and White. Exh. cat., Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc. New York, 1985, unpaginated (entry for no. 14, "Drawing for Percolator").

Diane Kelder. "Stuart Davis: Methodology and Imagery." Stuart Davis: Graphic Work and Related Paintings with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Prints. Ed. Jane Myers. Fort Worth, Tex., 1986, p. 6.

Karen Wilkin. Stuart Davis. New York, N. Y., 1987, pp. 82, 99, 101, 104, 106, 108, 171, 194, 200, 202, colorpl. 101.

Patterson Sims in American Mastery: Eight Artists in the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1987, p. 23.

Lowery Stokes Sims in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pp. 176, 181-83, 233, 276, no. 63, ill. (color).

Roberta Smith. "Steadfast Crusader for Modernism." New York Times (November 22, 1991), p. C32, notes that "Owh! in San Pao (1951, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) is an enlarged, intensified re-creation of this work.

Diane Kelder in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, p. 24.

Karen Wilkin in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, p. 52.

William Wilson. Stuart Davis's Abstract Argot. San Francisco, 1993, n.p., colorpl. 10.

Patricia Hills. Stuart Davis. New York, 1996, pp. 21, 76-78, 142, pl. 62.

Joseph Ablow. "Stuart Davis and All That Jazz: 'Stuart Davis' by Patricia Hills." Bostonia (Winter 1996-1997), pp. 74-75, ill. p. 73 (color).

Diane Kelder in Stuart Davis. Ed. Philip Rylands. Exh. cat., Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. Milan, 1997, p. 160, ill.

Holland Cotter. "Stuart Davis 'Major Later Paintings'." New York Times (April 19, 2002), p. E36.

Ani Boyajian in Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski. Vol. 1, Essays and References. New Haven, 2007, ill. p. 161 (color).

Karen Wilkin in Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski. Vol. 1, Essays and References. New Haven, 2007, p. 70.

William C. Agee in Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski. Vol. 1, Essays and References. New Haven, Conn., 2007, pp. 73, 101.

Karen Wilkin in American Vanguards: Graham, Davis, Gorky, de Kooning, and Their Circle, 1927-1942. Exh. cat., Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy. Andover, Mass., 2011, p. 53, fig. 8 (color).



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