Stuart Davis (1892 - 1964)
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Well known for his proto pop art paintings and ashcan pictures, Stuart Davis was an American modernist painter who was born in Philadelphia. After Davis studied painting under Robert Henri from 1909 to 1912, he was one of the youngest painters to exhibit in the Armory Show, where he displayed five of his watercolors. Being influenced by artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse, Davis became committed to modernism and cubism. In the 1920s, he developed his style of Hard-edge paintings, which can be classified as abstract still lifes and landscapes. His subject matter ranged from cigarette packages to black cats, making him a contemporary proto pop artist. In 1934, Davis became a member of the Artists' Union and, in 1936, he was elected National Secretary of the American Artists' Congress. One of his most famous ashcan paintings, Chinatown (1912), is set in Lower Manhattan and depicts a black cat as a symbol of a promiscuous woman.