Tag Archives: 1921

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, Lucky Strike

stuart davis lucky strike photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Stuart Davis typically painted local modern subjects in rhythmic compositions with bold colors. Among his sources of inspiration were “skyscraper architecture; the brilliant colors on gasoline stations; chain store fronts and taxi cabs“ and jazz music. Long before postwar artists mined the world of trademark brands, Davis incorporated imagery from logos, commercial signage, and packaging into his paintings, such as the branded bag of tobacco in Lucky Strike (1921). Championed by the visionary dealer Edith Halpert at her downtown Gallery, Davis’s work was met with both enthusiasm and confusion despite being engaged with the stuff and forms of modern life in New York in the 1920s.

Photographed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Modern Art Monday Presents: New York Interior By Edward Hopper

New York Interior By Edward Hopper
Photo By Gail

New York Interior (1921) is an early example of Edward Hopper’s  interest in enigmatic indoor scenes, offering an unconventional view of a woman sewing, suggesting the impersonal, yet strangely intimate quality of modern urban life. We glimpse this private moment through a window, with the figure’s turned face and exposed back heightening her anonymity and our awareness of her vulnerability. The woman’s clothing and gesture are reminiscent of the iconic ballet dancers painted by French impressionist Edgar Degas, whom Hopper singled out as the artist whose work he most admired.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? By Marcel Duchamp

Why Not Sneeze
All Photos By Gail

Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? is a 1921 Readymade sculpture by Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp considered this to be an “Assisted Readymade” because the original object, the Birdcage, was altered by the artist with the addition of the other objects. These consist of 152 white cubes (made of marble but resembling sugar cubes), a mercury thermometer, a piece of cuttlebone, and a tiny porcelain dish.

Why Not Sneeze

The birdcage is made of painted metal and contains several wooden perches. Rrose Sélavy, or Rose Sélavy, was one of the pseudonyms used by artist for the creation of other works, such as This One.

Why Not Sneeze

The Philadelphia Museum of Art displays the original as part of the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. Several replicas made by Duchamp exist (this is one, from 1964, of those) but only in the original are the cubes stamped “Made in France.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Why Not Sneeze

Modern Art Monday Presents: Fernand Léger, Woman with a Cat

Woman with a Cat
Photo By Gail

Woman with a Cat (1921) belongs to group of monumental female figures that Fernand Léger (1881 – 1955) painted throughout the 1920s. Motionless and frontal, this nude might be made of stone or metal, evoking at once a classical sculpture and a futurist robot. While Léger’s subject is rooted in European, particular French, artistic traditions, his streamlined style reflects contemporary design aesthetics that the painter’s friend, the architect Le Corbusier, advocated and popularized.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.