Walt Kuhn

Gallery E
American Paintings

Gallery E displayed a modest selection of works by the primary organizers of the Armory Show, Arthur B. Davies and Walt Kuhn (left), despite accusations that the show chiefly served as a place to exhibit their work. Davies received many favorable reviews during the course of the exhibition, not only for his organization of the show, but also for his paintings. Many critics spoke of him as one of the most original American painters of the time and cited him as an example of an artist who integrated a number of late 19th- and early 20th-century concepts into his work while avoiding imitation. His ethereal landscapes like Line of Mountains echo Cézanne's watercolors and the murals of Puvis de Chavannes. Davies embraced the cubism he became familiar with while organizing the Armory Show and was subsequently invited to organize exhibitions of modern art for many years. Kuhn, who made his living as a cartoonist for The World and other newspapers in New York, was relatively unaffected by much of the work at the Armory Show. Though his knowledge of numerous artists is evident in his paintings, his portraits of clowns and other circus performers are unencumbered by one painter or one movement.

Abraham Walkowitz and Joseph Stella's paintings could also be found in Gallery E, testaments to their work prior to the Armory Show. Walkowitz, who had a solo exhibition at Stieglitz's '291' gallery a few months before the Armory Show, was familiar with the work of Cézanne and Matisse, but his paintings did not show marked signs of their influence. He was perhaps more impressed by the drawings of children, exhibited at Stieglitz's gallery in 1912 (Homer, Stieglitz 144). Stella, on the other hand, became quickly enthralled by what he saw at the International Exhibition. By late 1913 he was working on his Battle of Lights, Coney Island series. A painting from this group was mistakenly shown at the 50th Anniversary Armory Show; it actually first appeared at the Armory Show's one-year anniversary exhibition in 1914.


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