In the 1930s, Davis began experimenting with depictions of reflections and views through car windows, creating complex compositions that often feature multiple views. The reflected images in this drawing, perhaps from a rearview mirror, include a bridge girder, which juts into the composition from the lower right corner. In the center, the suggestion of water and perhaps a bridge pylon. Above and to the left, text that suggests billboards. The reflection of the letters DRU and STO from the billboard, which the title helpfully spells out for us as “Drugstore,” but the text in the upper right remains difficult to interpret.
Davis may have been inspired by Matisse’s The Windshield, On the Road to Villacoublay, 1917, in the Cleveland Museum of Art. In the related gouache Windshield Mirror, 1932, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Davis incorporated Drugstore Reflection into the right-hand side of the composition, infusing it with color and creating an even more complex image featuring windows and reflected imagery. Twenty-two years later, Davis revisited the composition creating Untitled (Black and White Variation on Windshield Mirror), also in the Vilcek Collection.
Estate of the Artist;
[Owings Gallery, Santa Fe, NM];
New York. Borgenicht Gallery. Stuart Davis: Works on Paper. January 6-31, 1979, ill. np, cat. no. 14.
Houston. Museum of Fine Arts. Stuart Davis: Drawings and Prints. July 10- September 9, 1979 (checklist), no. 19.
New York. Salander-O’Reilly. Stuart Davis: Black and White. November 6-December 28, 1985, cat. no. 4 (supplementary checklist).
Chicago. Terra Museum of American Art. The Drawings of Stuart Davis: The Amazing Continuity (December 12, 1992-February 7, 1993); Middlebury, Vermont. Middlebury College Museum of Art (March 30-May 2, 1993); San Antonio, Texas. Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum (May 23-July 18, 1993); Miami, Florida. Center for the Fine Arts (August 7-September 19, 1993); Andover, Massachusetts. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy (October 17-December 30, 1993); Omaha, Nebraska. Joslyn Art Museum (February 12-April 10, 1994); Washington, D.C. The Phillips Collection (May-July 1994); ill. p. 94, cat. no. 55.
Phoenix. Phoenix Art Museum. From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection (June 5-September 6, 2015); Santa Fe. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (September 25, 2015-January 10, 2016).
Corpus Christi. The Art Museum of South Texas. Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection of American Art. September 13, 2018-January 6, 2019.
St. Peter, MN. The Hillstrom Museum of Art. Stuart Davis in Black & White. September 12-November 6, 2022.
Boyajian, Ani. and Mark Rutkoski, Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007, vol. 1, p. 110; vol. 2, pp. 255-256, ill. p.255, cat. no. 542, ill.
Stuart, Carolyn. “American Autoscapes: Stuart Davis and the view from the road, 1920-1940,” PhD dissertation, UCLA, 2010, p. 171, ill. p. 213, fig. 99.
Agee, William C. and Lewis Kachur. Masterpieces of American Modernism: From the Vilcek Collection. London: Merrell, 2013, pp. 19, 202-203, 264, ill. p. 203.