Composition Concrete (Study for Mural)

Composition Concrete (Study for Mural)

1957-1960

Stuart Davis

(American, 1894-1964)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 130.5 x 72 x 9.5 cm (51 3/8 x 28 3/8 x 3 3/4 in.); Unframed: 108.6 x 50.8 cm (42 3/4 x 20 in.)

Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1964.2

Did you know?

Davis was one of the first artists to incorporate elements from advertising in his work.

Description

Davis’s dynamic abstraction is a study for a large mural he created for the H. J. Heinz Research Center in Pittsburgh. The numerals 1957—placed sideways with the last two digits playfully inverted—are visible at the lower left of the composition. Here the artist not only refers to the year he started this painting, but also wittily riffs on the famous Heinz slogan “57 Varieties.”

Davis remarked that this painting’s title evokes “concrete music,” an avant-garde composition consisting of seemingly random combinations of pre-recorded sound. With its apparently improvised shapes and colors, his canvas
visualizes this experimental concept.

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