Arthur Garfield Dove
American, 1880-1946
Collected by a major museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
Matisse and American Art,
Montclair Art Museum
Making Modern: The Lane Collection: O’Keeffe, Sheeler, Dove,
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
East Building Permanent Collection,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Considered by some to be the first truly abstract American painter, Arthur Dove made paintings consisting of organic forms simplified to large swaths of muted color. Part of Alfred Stieglitz’s early 1900s avant-garde artistic circle, Dove held his first exhibition in 1910, showing “The Ten Commandments” series in which he represented biblical themes through abstract, undulating forms. The amorphous nature of these paintings exemplifies Dove’s belief that abstraction was not a departure from reality, but rather a means of representing the essence of the natural world beyond its obvious physical forms. Taking on the decorative strategies of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Dove pursued an inductive, quasi-scientific method to render the hidden features of the organic, from the cellular level on up, and the inherent intervals, repetition, and rhythmic proportions found in the natural world.