a museum retrospective

Stuart Davis created New York Mural in response to a 1932 invitation from the Museum of Modern Art to design a work on the theme of post–World War I life for an exhibition of American mural designs. In his painting, Davis adapted the flat, bold style of advertising to depict images associated with New York politics—specifically those related to Alfred Smith, New York’s four-term governor and the 1928 Democratic presidential candidate, whose opposition to Prohibition Davis applauded. Visible here are Smith’s trademark brown derby hat and bow tie; the Empire State Building, for which the governor served as publicist; a banana, alluding to his campaign’s adaptation of the popular tune “Yes! We Have No Bananas”; an upturned champagne glass, referencing his support for Prohibition’s repeal; and a tiger’s head and tail, symbols of New York’s Democratic Tammany Hall political machine, with which Smith was affiliated.

Explore more works from Stuart Davis: In Full Swing

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), New York Mural, 1932. Oil on canvas, 84 × 48 in. (213.4 × 122 cm). Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; purchase, R. H. Norton Trust. © Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York

When he would be working on an exhibition, he cared 100% about every last detail of placement, lighting, graphic design.
—  MoMA curator Ann Temkin on the late artist Ellsworth Kelly in the Los Angeles Times

Three upcoming events celebrate artist Marcel Broodthaers’s current MoMA retrospective through film, poetry, and more. See the schedule and get your tickets.

[Installation view of Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, February 14–May 15, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck]

Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist—the first full-scale survey of his paintings in two decades—opens Friday. We’ll be posting live from the press preview on Twitter and Instagram starting at 10 am EST.

Archibald J. Motley Jr. (1891–1981), Blues, 1929. Oil on canvas, 36 × 42 in. (91.4 × 106.7 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne

This week at MoMA: Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective closes Sunday, we host a discussion on the topic “Is fashion modern?” with design luminaries, and more. 


[Installation view of Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, February 14–May 15, 2016. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Martin Seck]

Danny Lyon: Message to the Future is on view through September 25.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Tesca, Cartagena, Colombia, 1966. Cibachrome, printed 2008. Image 25.7 × 25.7 cm (10 1/8 × 10 1/8 in.). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

America at the Edges

The artist Jim Shaw is a connoisseur of eccentricities. Along with the artist Mike Kelley, he initiated the punkification of contemporary art, and his New Museum retrospective is jam-packed with freaky works.

Read more of Peter Schjeldahl’s review in this week’s issue.

Courtesy Jim Shaw and Simon Lee Gallery, London and Hong Kong

Anywhere in Time: A Conlon Nancarrow Festival
June 17–28

This unprecedented series will include musicians and artists presenting the maverick composer’s works and the first U.S. retrospective of his Studies for Player Piano. 

[Untitled Nancarrow piano roll sketch. Courtesy Dominic Murcott]

Last chance! Closing today, June Leaf: Thought Is Infinite presents the artist’s achievements in drawing over the past five decades.

June Leaf (b. 1929), Study for Woman Monument, 1975. Pen and ink, and acrylic on paper, 17 × 14 in. (43.2 × 35.6 cm). Collection of the artist. Photograph by Alice Attie