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Entries in Arthur Dove (1)


"Foghorns" by the Fantastic Arthur Dove

Arthur Dove - Foghorns - 1929 - Oil on canvas - 18 x 26 in. (45.7 x 66 cm) Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado

Arthur Dove (1889-1946) was an American painter who was one of the earliest nonobjective artists. Dove’s art reflects his belief that color and form are instruments with which to express the essence beneath the physical exterior of things; his shapes are typically amorphous, his colors muted. In his wonderful "Foghorns" (1929), for example, he used size-graduated shapes and gradations of hue to visually express the sound of foghorns. Despite their nonobjective character, his paintings often suggest the undulating qualities of landscape and the forms of nature.

Dove had a profound influence on Georgia O'Keeffe. From the start of her career, O’Keeffe credited a reproduction of a Dove pastel as her introduction to modernism. Dove’s use of sensual, abstract forms to evoke the flowing rhythms and patterns of nature had already put him at the forefront of the American modernist movement by the time O’Keeffe entered the scene around 1916. Dove had been featured at the renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s New York gallery “291″ in 1912, and O’Keeffe’s work was first shown there in 1916. O'Keeffe seriously considered giving up painting entirely early on in her career. Although she was an award winning art student--she wasn't particularly interested in painting those subjects for which she was lauded. She also didn't want to paint in the manner of one her most famous teachers--William Merritt Chase--but at the same time didn't want to follow the paths of the European modernists. Seeing Dove's work helped O'Keeffe to find her own visual voice. When she was in her 70s, O'Keeffe recalled that, “It was Arthur Dove who affected my start, who helped me to find something of my own.” By all means, explore the paintings of Arthur Dove. It will be well worth the journey.