WNYC's Studio 360 invited Nobel-prizewinning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, an art collector himself, to discuss how the brain processes and reacts to art. One of the more interesting phenomena that Kandel explains is that when viewing abstract paintings the brain uses what he calls a "top-down" mechanism to recruit personal experience, imagination, creativity, and responses to other works of art into the process. The result is a creative experience that viewers themselves undergo as they look at an abstract painting. I could have told them that without an fMRI machine, but kudos nonetheless.
I went to see Stuart Davis: In Full Swing at the Whitney Museum here in New York yesterday. I have always liked his paintings a very much when I've come across them, though he's not a painter I ever turn to for direction or inspiration. He doesn't get the attention he deserves generally; and there hasn't been a major exhibition of his work in this country in 25 years as far a search will tell you.