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Stuart Davis (1892-1964)
Stuart Davis (1892-1964)

Rooftops, Gloucester

Stuart Davis (1892-1964)
Rooftops, Gloucester
signed and dated 'Stuart Davis 1917' (lower left)
pencil and watercolor on paper
15 x 17 in. (38.1 x 43.2 cm.)
The artist.
Sale: Metropolitan Storage Co., New York.
Sale: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, 11 April 1963, lot 40. Sale: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, 15 April 1970, lot 52.
James Goodman Gallery, New York.
Private collection, New York.
A. Boyajian and M. Rutkoski, Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven, Connecticut, 2007, pp. 491-92, no. 1016, illustrated.
(Probably) New York, Delacorte Gallery, "Stuart Davis: Watercolors & Drawings, 1917-1918," May 17-June 15, 1958.

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Lot Essay

Attracted by John Sloan's enthusiasm for the area, Stuart Davis and his family began spending their summers in the small fishing town of Gloucester in 1917 before purchasing a home in nearby Cape Ann. The intense light on the coast and architecture of the towns coupled with the mountainous scenery and coastline became favorite subjects of the artist. As seen in this watercolor, Davis drew upon his roots in the Ashcan School choosing to paint the less conventional aspects of town. His experimentation with perspective and with broad geometric shapes, are the groundwork for his later, more abstract paintings. The present work has been known by two names, Provincetown and Gloucester.

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