Sweeping new Arthur Dove catalogue raisonné sheds light on the early 20th-century Modernist

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Sweeping new Arthur Dove catalogue raisonné sheds light on the early 20th-century Modernist
Fields of Grain as Seen from Train, 1931, oil on canvas, 24 x 34 1/8 in. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. Gift of Seymour H. Knox Jr., K1958:1

NEW YORK, NY.- The Arthur G. Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project today announced the publication of a complete and authoritative catalogue raisonné of the pioneering modernist’s work. Edited and written by scholar and curator Debra Bricker Balken, Arthur Dove: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Things sheds expansive new light on the artist’s work with an illustrated survey of the full corpus of his known paintings and assemblages (or “things”), along with a wealth of essays that draw on previously unpublished materials. Together, these add important context and texture to our understanding of the artist, his work, and the context in which it was created.

The first book on Dove to include color illustrations of all of his extant paintings, Arthur Dove: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Things is published by the Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project and distributed by Yale University Press. The nearly 400-page book will be of compelling interest to scholars, curators, collectors, gallerists, and more, including, of course, those who are simply fans of Dove’s work. It will be available for purchase on the Yale University Press website as of February 22, 2021, and at booksellers nationwide on its official publication date of March 23.

Debra Balken notes, “In our work to create a fully authoritative publication, every one of the 447 entries in the previous Dove catalogue raisonné has been updated, and a number of new works have been added, including some that had been presumed lost. I am deeply grateful to the Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project for enabling this work and to Jessie Sentivan, our researcher, in addition to the numerous archivists, librarians, art historians, collectors and dealers who, over the course of eight years, have enriched our view of Dove, his work, and the context in which it was created.”

Arthur Dove: A Catalogue Raisonné opens with an in-depth essay in which Ms. Balken assesses Dove’s critical reception, examining essays and reviews by a variety of writers, from Sherwood Anderson to Lewis Mumford, Alfred Barr, and Robert Goldwater, among others. In so doing, she also illuminates Dove’s position in the circle of young American artists, including John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Max Weber, and, later, Georgia O’Keeffe, that was cultivated by preeminent photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz.

Twenty-four short essays woven into the catalogue of Dove’s work include an assessment of the radical formal traits of the artist’s painting, a new look at the ways in which his works surpassed the known languages of abstraction, and a reading of their evocations of the ephemeral aspects of nature, such as the sun, moon, rain, and wind—Dove’s core subject—among other topics. Together, these essays provide both a pictorial and biographical narrative that traces Dove’s role as a forerunner of midcentury movements including Abstract Expressionism and others.

In addition to the essays, all by Ms. Balken, the Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Things includes an illustrated chronology, an extensive exhibition bibliography, and an exhibition history.

Arthur Dove
Arthur Dove (1880–1946) was a pioneering American modernist of the early 20th century. While he is frequently associated with the circle of artists linked to Alfred Stieglitz, Dove’s work is uniquely radical. Thanks to his early use of abstract forms derived from nature, he is frequently cited as the first American artist to pursue purely nonrepresentational compositions. Dove’s work, which had an impact on a subsequent generation of artists associated with the New York School, may be found in U.S. museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Phillips Collections, and the National Gallery of Art (both Washington, D.C.), among many others.

Debra Bricker Balken
Debra Bricker Balken is an independent curator, scholar, and writer who works on subjects related to American modernism and contemporary art. She served as the lead curator on Arthur Dove, A Retrospective, an exhibition that toured nationally in 1997–98. In addition, she has assembled shows that have examined John Marin’s late work, the overlapping circles of artists who surrounded Alfred Stieglitz and Marcel Duchamp in New York, and the interrelationship between the work of Dove and O’Keeffe, among numerous other projects.

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