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Swing Landscape

Stuart Davis’s mural Swing Landscape is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of his oeuvre. With its bold colors and forms, this abstracted portrayal of the Gloucester, Massachusetts, waterfront takes visual cues from Cubism, but it also reflects Davis’s personal aesthetic language. Its exuberant composition recalls his fascination with the rhythms and energy of jazz and swing music. Although commissioned by the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn, New York, Davis’s mural was ultimately not installed. It was instead exhibited in New York in 1938 and Cincinnati in 1941. In early 1942, the WPA allocated the mural to Indiana University.

Stuart Davis
American, 1892–1964
Swing Landscape
1938
Oil on canvas
86 ¾ x 173 1/8 in. (220.3 x 439.7 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Allocated by the U.S. Government, Commissioned through the New Deal Art Projects 42.1

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