North America, American, New York
36 in. x 24 in. (91.44 cm x 60.96 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection
Currently On View
© Estate of Stuart Davis / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Stuart Davis’s transition from recognizable subject matter to pure abstraction began in earnest with works he produced after he returned from Paris in 1929. He looked to his experiences of painting Paris cityscapes, and built upon that compositional practice while using images derived from New York and Gloucester. The artist spent most every summer in the coastal town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, beginning in 1915, and the waterfront provided him with inspiration for a number of views/images throughout his career.
In the case of "Summer Twilight", the lighthouse element is specific to Gloucester; the other architectural shapes can be interpreted as “rural” versus “urban”—simple frame structures versus profiles of more sophisticated multi-storied buildings. The other elements—clouds, the bird, and geometric elements are non-specific in terms of location. In works such as this one he integrates and symbolizes various locations and points in time in a single visual image, that at least for him, were a personal record of the American land and culture.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 75, p. 182.