In the Depression years Stuart Davis found a subsistence livelihood through the Federal Art Project. He painted a mural for the men's lounge of the new Radio City Music Hall, Mural (Men Without Women), now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; a giant mural, 45 by 140 feet, for the New York World's Fair, which was subsequently destroyed; a mural for the radio station WNYC; and one called Swing Landscape, now at Indiana University.
This colour sketch is a preparatory work for a later mural, Allée, 8 by 33 feet, more grave, more solid, that his previous murals, perfectly tuned, keyed and pitched, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Davis knew what he wanted from a mural. ''An art of real order in the material of paint doesn't say 'Workers of the World Unite'; it doesn't say 'Pasteur's theory had many beneficial results for the human race,' and it doesn't say 'Buy Camel cigarettes'; it merely says 'Look, here is a unique configuration in color-space.' ''
|Original Title||Color Sketch for Drake University Mural (Study for "Allée")|
|Medium||Gouache on paper|
|Dimensions||24.7 x 90.8 cm|
|Credit line||Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. Gift, Earl Davis|
|Type||Work on paper|