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Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Dove’

Arthur Dove- Me and the Moon 1937

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We cannot express the light in nature because we have not the sun. We can only express the light we have in ourselves.

–Arthur Dove

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Really busy morning getting my upcoming Principle Gallery show ready. It seems there is just not enough time in the day and when there is, I don’t have the stamina to take advantage of it. Thought I’d share a few words from the Modernist painter Arthur Dove (1880-1846) who was someone I looked to when I was first beginning to paint. I liked the way he merged abstraction and representation in his work and how he used recurring elements in his work. The ball/circle shape that I use so often as my sun/moon always makes me think of Dove.

He was also from the Finger Lakes region of New York, born and raised in Canandaigua and educated up the road at Cornell. While that may hold no importance in his work, it interested me because it made me wonder how he saw the same things I have often seen in this area. How did this environment shape the way he saw and expressed the world?

Anyway, here are a few of my favorites along with a video of his work set to a nice Schubert piece.

Arthur Dove -River Bottom – 1923

Arthur Dove- Sunrise– 1924

Arthur Dove- Willow Tree — 1934

 

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When I was first starting to paint, one of the painters that I admired when I first ran across his work was the Modernist painter of the early 20th century, Arthur Dove.  As I was beginning to form my own visual vocabulary, I found many similarities in how Dove and I represented certain elements in our paintings. This gave me a feeling that I may be following the right path and gave me a little more certainty and confidence in my own work.  I was also drawn by the duality in his work between the abstract and the representational.  There was always the sense that you were looking at something recognizable and familiar even when there was definite abstraction present.  This was something I have aspired for in my own work.

I didn’t know much about the man but was also pleased when I found that he was from the Finger Lakes region of NY  and had been educated just up the road at Cornell.  No big deal, obviously, but it gave me an insight into the influence of the local landscape in his work and his eye that I could compare to my own.

One of the factors in being self-taught for me, was in finding an artist that I could identify with , who seemed to have a similar feel for how things would translate in different media.  I am surprised, even today, how much of my early work resembles some Dove pieces that I have only seen recently for the first time.

I can’t say I loved all of Dove’s work.  I don’t know if anybody can say that about any other human if their work fully represents them.  But I do admire the spirit and feeling of his work and know my work is better for it.

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