Stuart Davis: In Full Swing

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide features commentary about selected works in the exhibition Stuart Davis: In Full Swing, especially for kids.

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Swing Landscape, 1938. Oil on canvas, 86 3/4 x 173 1/8 in. (220.3 x 400 cm). Indiana University Art Museum; allocated by the U.S. Government, commissioned through the New Deal Art Projects. © Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Narrator: Look closely at the shapes in this painting. Do they remind you of anything? See if you can find some that look like ships. Davis loved to paint the fishing boats that he saw around Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he often spent the summer. He returned to their forms again and again over the years. He improvised on them like a jazz musician plays with different tunes. And in fact, have you noticed that we’ve played a lot of jazz on this tour? Davis loved jazz—he said it was really important to his painting.

Stuart Davis: I must say that in the major part of my career, when I wanted inspiration from American art, I went to jazz music. 

Narrator: Davis called this painting Swing Landscape. Swing is big-band jazz, a kind of dance music. If you listened to this painting, what would it sound like? In Swing, the rhythms really move. Can you find shapes that seem to dance across the canvas?