Arthur Dove: Watercolors and Pastels
The first book to focus exclusively on the luminous watercolors and pastels of the American artist Arthur Dove (1880-1946), this volume explores the contributions of these mediums to the development of Dove's distinctive, abstract images of the American landscape. Dove's landmark pastel series of 1911-12, The Ten Commandments, represents American modernism's first breakthrough into abstraction. His subsequent pastels of the 1910s and 1920s provided him with stylistic innovations he later adapted in his oil paintings. Watercolor became the primary medium of Dove's summer months in the early 1930s and remained so throughout his career. These small, exquisite images, rapidly executed in the woods, on his boat, on the train, or even from his porch, record his spontaneous responses to nature and reveal his immediate, incisive transformation of what he saw into delicately balanced compositions. Ms. Kirschner considers the role of these works and of the watercolor medium itself in Dove's stylistic growth in the second half of his career. While some of these watercolors will seem familiar to those acquainted with Dove's work, many have never before been published.