Dove, Arthur G.
American painter, who was among the first artists to create nonrepresentational paintings-paintings that do not represent recognizable objects. Many experts on American art consider Arthur G. Dove the most important and most original artist of his generation. Despite his move toward abstract art, Arthur Dove always found inspiration in nature. The abstract qualities in his work grew out of his search for underlying mathematical laws and from a belief in the interconnectedness of all things spiritual and physical. One of his later oil paintings, Sun (1943, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.), for example, reflects both concepts. The gradated patterns of stripes display a near-mathematical regularity, and radiating bands of color seem to link an abstract earth with the heavens above.
Arthur G. Dove was born in Canandaigua, New York, and studied at Hobart College and Cornell University. He moved to New York City in 1903 to pursue a career as a magazine illustrator. During a trip to Europe from 1907 to 1909, he turned to the modernism of European artists, particularly to the broad, flat areas of bright colors in the work of French painter Henri Matisse. Dove returned to the United States and became one of its first modern artists.
In 1910 and 1911 Dove created a series of art works, Abstractions Nos. 1-6 (held in a private collection), which had few, if any, references to real-life objects. In these and later oil paintings, he suggested meanings and sensations through lines, shapes, and colors, rather than by narrative themes. In Fog (1929, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado), for example, he captured the sounds of foghorns as concentric circles that appear to emerge from a befogged ocean.
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