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), Owh! in San Pao, 1951. Oil on canvas, 52 3/16 x 42 in. (132.6 x 106.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase 52.2. © Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Narrator: Davis called this painting Owh! In San Pao. The name doesn’t mean anything very specific—Davis said he just made it up. But like the painting itself, the rhyme is fun and playful—Owh! In San Pao!

Take a look at the painting next to it. Davis painted it more than twenty years earlier, and called it Percolator. A percolator is a kind of old-fashioned coffee pot. This work is pretty abstract too, but maybe you can find shapes that could hold or pour coffee. 

Now take a moment to compare the two paintings. Notice anything? They’re different versions of the same subject. As Davis got older, he really liked to recycle—returning to earlier works that he liked, and seeing what new ideas he could find in them. Often, the later versions would be really abstract. But Davis liked all of his paintings to have some roots in the real world—he felt it made them more meaningful.