Study for Egg Beater No. 3
Study for Egg Beater No. 3, 1927, Gouache
Stuart Davis (American, 1892 – 1964)
Stuart Davis’s Egg Beater series reflects a yearlong exercise of close reflection on three household objects – an eggbeater, a rubber glove, and an electric fan. Davis reimagined these household tools continually, creating eighteen distinct versions from 1927–8. Davis considered his studies to be finished works, and his signature can be found at the lower right corner.
In this complex intersection of line, color, and spatial plane, Davis breaks apart the basic visual components and reassembles them in two-dimension. The unusual color palette used in this study differs widely from the hues found in the related studies. Davis frames the composition with a deep-red rectangle shaded with strokes of purplish-grey. Indications of blue sky alongside sketchy segments of the tools creep through a window at the center of the composition.
The Egg Beater series was a pioneering exploration of abstraction in the United States, which took hold more firmly after the Second World War. The significance of this study within the development of abstract painting is of major importance.