Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Edison Mazda

Artist:
Stuart Davis (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1892–1964 New York)
Date:
1924
Medium:
Oil on cardboard
Dimensions:
24 3/4 × 18 5/8 in. (62.9 × 47.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Y. Palitz Jr. Gift, in memory of her father, Nathan Dobson, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.10
Not on view
In the early 1920s, in response to the industrial age and increasing consumerism, Davis began to incorporate commercial goods and advertising graphics into his art. Edison Mazda, with its flattened space and collagelike composition, resembles the Cubist still lifes of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Rather than portraying pipe racks and candlesticks, Davis includes a contemporary manufactured object: a blue, seventy-five-watt light bulb.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Stuart Davis '24
the artist, New York (1924–d. 1964; his estate, 1964–at least 1965); [Esther Robles Gallery, Los Angeles, probably by 1979–80; sold on July 23, 1980 to private collection]; private collection (from 1980); [Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York, until 1981; sold to MMA]

Washington, D. C. National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," May 28–July 5, 1965, no. 23 (as "75 Watt," lent by the Davis Estate, courtesy of the Downtown Gallery).

Art Institute of Chicago. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," July 30–August 29, 1965, no. 23.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," September 14–October 17, 1965, no. 23.

Art Galleries, University of California at Los Angeles. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," October 31–November 28, 1965, no. 23.

Los Angeles. Esther–Robles Gallery. "Stuart Davis: Paintings—Early Twenties," April 6–May 31, 1979, no. 7 (as "Glass and Electric Bulb [or 75 Watt]").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "30 Painters: Recent Acquisitions," January 26–March 14, 1982, brochure no. 9.

Canberra. Australian National Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," March 1–April 27, 1986, unnumbered cat. (p. 52).

Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," May 7–July 1, 1986, unnumbered cat.

New York. Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc. "Stuart Davis (1892–1964): The Breakthrough Years, 1922–1924," November 4–December 26, 1987, no. 25.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "14 Americans," July 16, 1990–January 2, 1991, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stuart Davis: American Painter," November 23, 1991–February 16, 1992, no. 54.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Stuart Davis: American Painter," March 26–June 7, 1992, no. 54.

Richmond, Va. Marsh Art Gallery. "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915–1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 3–February 28, 1997, no. 40.

Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915–1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 28–May 23, 1997, no. 40.

Newport Beach, Calif. Newport Harbor Art Museum. "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915–1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 20–August 15, 1997, no. 40.

Tulsa, Okla. Philbrook Museum of Art. "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915–1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 12–November 7, 1997, no. 40.

Palm Beach, Fla. The Society of the Four Arts. "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915–1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 9–February 8, 1998, no. 40.

Salina, Kansas. Salina Art Center. "Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915–1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 6–May 3, 1998, no. 40.

Max Kozloff. "Larry Rivers, Stuart Davis and Slang Idiom." Artforum 4 (November 1965), p. 23, calls it "Seventy Five Watt"; notes that this work anticipates Roy Lichtenstein's work in its use of heavily outlined, illustration-like imagery.

Lisa M. Messinger. "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1981–1982. New York, [1982], p. 58, ill.

Hilton Kramer. "Met Presents Works Bought for Under $5,000 Each." New York Times (January 29, 1982), p. C23.

Michael Desmond. 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Brisbane, Australian, 1986, p. 52, ill. (color), situates this work in the history of still life painting, noting its references to both the symbolism of Old Master works and the planarity of Cubist works.

Karen Wilkin. Stuart Davis. New York, N. Y., 1987, pp. 97–99, colorpl. 98.

William C. Agee. Stuart Davis (1892-1964): The Breakthrough Years, 1922-1924. Exh. cat., Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc. New York, 1987, unpaginated, no. 25, colorpl. 26.

Oswaldo Rodriguez Rogue. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 9, The United States of America. New York, 1987, p. 123, ill. (color).

Lowery Stokes Sims in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pp. 169-71, no. 54, ill. (color).

Diane Kelder in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, p. 24.

Carter Ratcliff. "Stuart Davis." Portraits: The Lives and Works of Eminent Artists 2 (October 1992), unpaginated.

Karen Wilkin in Karen Wilkin and Lewis C. Kachur. The Drawings of Stuart Davis: The Amazing Continuity. Exh. cat., Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago. New York, 1992, p. 21, fig. 6.

William Wilson. Stuart Davis's Abstract Argot. San Francisco, 1993, p. IX, n.p., colorpl. 7, compares it to the work of Marcel Duchamp, discussing each artist's interest in commonplace objects.

Patricia Hills. Stuart Davis. New York, 1996, pp. 70, pl. 57.

Lowery Stokes Sims in Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915-1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Marsh Art Gallery. New York, 1996, p 110, 167, no. 40, ill. p. 111 (color).

Sabine Rewald in Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915-1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Marsh Art Gallery, Richmond, Va. New York, 1996, p. 107.

Lowery Stokes Sims and Sabine Rewald in Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915-1995. Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Marsh Art Gallery, Richmond, Va. New York, 1996, p. 18.

Diane Kelder. Stuart Davis: Art and Theory, 1920-31. Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 2002, pp. 5-6, fig. 7.

Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski, ed. Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 3, Catalogue Entries 1324–1749. New Haven, 2007, pp. 148–49, no. 1504, ill. (color).

Ellen E. Roberts with Samantha Niederman. O'Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York. Exh. cat., Norton Museum of Art. West Palm Beach, 2016, p. 89, ill. p. 87 (color).



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