“mellow pad” refers to an emotional state, a sweet spot experienced while giving a sizzling performance, say, or listening to one—and that’s the feeling Mr. Davis was striving for.
“A cheerful medley of shapes in bright pinks, blues, yellows, greens, black and white, “The Mellow Pad” is Stuart Davis’s evocation of, and homage to, the hip life spawned by the Jazz Age. He wanted this kaleidoscopic picture, which hangs in the Brooklyn Museum, to convey a feeling, rather than depict an actual, physical place.”…..
……From there, Mr. Davis took off, filling the canvas with a mixture of dots, arcs, curves, crosses, squiggles and other shapes, only a few of which have any relation to real objects. Always a brilliant colorist, he chose a cool palette for his mellow pad, but also an unruly one—an abundance of intense shades. Between the colors and the shapes, the picture almost vibrates. Indeed, Mr. Davis here manages to create a pictorial equivalent of syncopation through the irregular visual rhythms created by his loosely ordered arrangement of forms and colors.
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