Arthur Dove, Sunrise, 1924, oil on wood, 18¼” x 20 ⅞”, Milwaukee Art Museum, Photo by Micah & Erin, via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Arthur Dove Shows Us What a Sunrise Feels Like

Arthur Dove was a member of a small circle of artists in New York City, including Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe, that introduced modernism to America.

Dove developed a highly original form of abstraction based upon the natural landscape and the things that he saw on his farm in Connecticut.  His abstract forms derive from natural motifs using simple and powerful shapes that repeat and bulge throughout his compositions, yet they are non-representational.

Dove did a long series of paintings of sunrises that have a metaphysical character.  He was trying to render the essence of the sun’s energy and its power in the natural world.  The rings in his paintings of sunrises represent light and warmth that emanate from the core of the sun to replace darkness and coldness.

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