Stuart Davis - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Following a reinvigorating period working in Europe, which saw Stuart Davis turn his eye to scenes across the Atlantic, he returned to the American imagery of his early career, transforming both urban and coastal subjects through a pictorial language that combined elements of Cubism and Surrealism. Theater on the Beach, one of five lithographs produced following his European jaunt, sees Davis combine a familiar American town with a landmark building in France.


    The town of Gloucester, Massachusetts figures prominently in Theater on the Beach, situating the scene on the town’s shores to the left of the composition, while to the right stands an incongruously ornate theater, a structure whose origin is from another continent entirely. The source of the theater building lies in a drawing Davis produced during his time in Paris, electing to sketch only the central portion of the Montmare district’s Théâter de l’Atelier, a decision that was furthered in the shortening of the building for the present lithograph. Superimposed over these two disparate halves is a Cubist-inspired figure, in a pose reminiscent of a Picasso nude. This playful regrouping of contrasting geographies and subjects is characteristic of Davis’ 1931 prints and illustrates the progression of the artist’s Cubist and Surrealist vernacular towards richly visual environments.


    Exterior of Théâter de l’Atelier, Montmartre, Paris


    • Provenance

      Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York
      David S. Ramus, Ltd., Atlanta, Georgia

    • Exhibited

      David S. Ramus, Ltd., Atlanta, Georgia, American Printmaking: A Survey 1800-1940, February 22 - March 23, 1985

    • Literature

      Sylvan Cole and Jane Myers 16

Property from a Distinguished Maryland Estate


Theater on the Beach (C. & M. 16)

Lithograph, on thin wove paper, with full margins.
I. 11 x 15 in. (27.9 x 38.1 cm)
S. 20 x 26 in. (50.8 x 66 cm)

Signed and numbered 13/25 in pencil, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $3,048

Contact Specialist
212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023