Rarely a week goes by these days when a high-profile dealer does not announce the representation of the estate of a major artist. The latest entry in the category is Chelsea’s Paul Kasmin Gallery, who is now working with the estate of the great American modernist Stuart Davis, which is handled by his son, Earl Davis.
At the start of the fall season, on September 13, Kasmin will offer up “Lines Thicken: Stuart Davis in Black & White,” an exhibition focusing on the artist’s works in those two hues, in which the artist pared down his vibrantly colored scenes to just lines and shapes. A catalogue of archival material, compiled and edited by Earl Davis, will be published in conjunction with the show.
As Hilarie M. Sheets notes in the New York Times, the Davis estate previously worked with Salander O’Reilly gallery in New York. In 2010, its proprietor, Lawrence Salander, pleaded guilty to a wide-ranging program of fraud totaling $120 million that included selling 90 paintings by the artist without telling Davis fils.
In 2016, Davis was the subject of a superb retrospective, organized by the Whitney Museum’s Barbara Haskell and the National Gallery of Art’s Harry Cooper, that began at the Whitney before traveling to the NGA, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, where it ended its run on New Year’s Day of this year.
At a moment when figurative art is ascendent in some parts of the contemporary scene, Davis’s work is looking quite fresh and being mined in disparate ways by artists including Nina Chanel Abney and Hank Willis Thomas.