1894–1964, American painter, b. Philadelphia, studied with Robert Henri in New York City. At the age of 19 he did drawings and covers for The Masses
and exhibited in the Armory Show. One of the early jazz enthusiasts, Davis is often said to have incorporated its exciting tempos into the vibrant patterns of his paintings. In the 1920s the influence of cubism became apparent in his work. He painted the famous Eggbeater
series in an attempt to avoid the depiction of natural objects and instead to create an art of abstract forms and planes. During the 1930s he was active in the Artists' Congress, editing Art Front.
Davis was an articulate spokesman for abstract art. Among his canvases in numerous museums are Visa
(Mus. of Modern Art, New York City); Colonial Cubism
(Walker Art Center, Minneapolis); and Midi
(Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn.).
See biography by E. C. Goosen (1959); study ed. by D. Kelder (1971).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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