Small in size but big in scale, this abstracted landscape, done in a limited palette of green, red, white, and black, was one of several works Davis created in response to Abstract Expressionism. The composition is based on Willem de Kooning’s Suburb in Havana, 1958, Private Collection, which he saw at an exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery in January 1959. Davis was able to reduce the composition to shapes from his own vocabulary.
Davis recorded the completion of this painting in his calendar on January 15, 1959, writing, “Finished 10 x 10” Town and Country in casein of its mysterious balance –good.” The color and composition also point to the influence of Matisse’s cutouts like Composition, Black and Red, 1947, in the collection of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College.
[The Downtown Gallery, New York, NY];
Gerhard D. Straus, Milwaukee, WI, April 25, 1960;
[Christie’s, New York, June 3, 1983, lot 277];
[Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York, NY];
Aaron I. Fleischman, Washington, D.C., 1988;
[Vivian Horan Fine Art, New York, NY];
[William Pall Fine Arts, New York, 2000];
[Danese, New York, NY];
Julie and Edward J. Minskoff, New York, 2000;
[Christie’s New York, May 20, 2010, lot 169];
[The Owings Gallery, Santa Fe, NM];
New York. Barbara Mathes Gallery. Early Twentieth Century American Masters. September 20-October 29, 1983.
New York. Barbara Mathes Gallery. Correspondences: European and American Affinities. January 26-March 9, 1985, no. 14b.
New York. Barbara Mathes Gallery. Important Twentieth Century American Paintings and Drawings. September 4-October 24, 1987.
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. Opening Abstraction. June 14, 2013-June 29, 2014.
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection (February 8-May 3, 2015); Phoenix. Phoenix Art Museum (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.
“Finished 10 x 10” Town and County in casein of its mysterious balance – good.” Davis Calendar, January 15, 1959.
Downtown Gallery Records, Artist Notebooks: Davis, Stuart undated, 1910-1970. Box 34, Reel 5568, Frame 239. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Sales Slip, Gerhard D. Straus, Milwaukee, April 25, 1960. The Downtown Gallery. Sales Records, Artwork: Sales Slips, Jan.-April, 1960. Box 73, Reel 5629 Frame 1165. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Downtown Gallery Records, Artist Notebooks: Davis, Stuart undated, 1910-1970. Box 35, Reel 5569. Frames 766-767. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Private Collection. Christie, Manson & Woods, New York, June 3, 1983, lot 277.
Wilkin, Karen. Stuart Davis. New York, 1987, p. 195, pl. 208, ill.
Sims, Lowery Stokes. Stuart Davis, American Painter. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1991, pp. 83-84, fig. 65, ill.
Boyajian, Ani and Mark. Rutkoski. Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007, vol. 1, p. 76, 96, vol. 3, p. 442, no. 1717, ill.
Julie and Edward J. Minskoff Collection. Christie’s New York. Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. May 20, 2010, Sale 2318, lot 169.
Agee, William C. and Lewis Kachur. Masterpieces of American Modernism: From the Vilcek Collection. London: Merrell, 2013, pp. 16, 214-215, 264, ill. p. 215.
Pochoda, Elizabeth. “Freedom and the abstract truth: Jan and Marica Vilcek’s collection of American modernist art,” The Magazine Antiques (May/June 2013), ill. p. 103.