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

Fun Fact

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

Description

Davis's lively 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 date of the painting, but also wittily riffs on the famous Heinz slogan "57 Varieties." A lifelong fan of jazz, Davis remarked that the painting's title evokes "concrete music," an avant-garde composition consisting of seemingly random combinations of prerecorded sound. Davis's work, with its apparently improvised shapes and colors, visualizes this experimental concept.

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