Arthur Dove (1880-1946)
Property from the Collection of Laughlin and Jennifer Phillips
Arthur Dove (1880-1946)


Arthur Dove (1880-1946)
signed 'Dove' (lower left)
oil on canvas
13¼ x 22 in. (33.7 x 55.9 cm.)
Painted in 1931.
[With]An American Place, New York.
Duncan Phillips, Washington, D.C., acquired from the above 1937.
Gift to the present owner from the above, 1953.
D. Phillips, Retrospective Exhibition of Works in Various Media by Arthur G. Dove, Washington, D.C., 1937, n.p., no. 11.
American Academy of Arts and Letters, Max Weber Memorial Exhibition, New York, 1962, no. 32.
S.M. Newman, Arthur Dove and Duncan Phillips: Artist and Patron, Washington, D.C., 1981, pp. 88, 146, no. 24, illustrated.
A.L. Morgan, Arthur Dove: Life and Work with a Catalogue Raisonné, Newark, Delaware, 1984, pp. 189-90, no. 31.4, illustrated.
New York, An American Place, Dove, Marin, O'Keeffe, Demuth and Hartley, May 20-June 14, 1932, no. 11.
Washington, D.C., Phillips Memorial Art Gallery, Retrospective Exhibition of Works in Various Media by Arthur G. Dove, March 23-April 18, 1937, no. 11.
Syracuse, New York, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary American Paintings, April 1939.
Washington, D.C., Phillips Memorial Art Gallery, Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by Arthur G. Dove, April 18-September 22, 1947.
New York, The Downtown Gallery, Arthur G. Dove, Paintings 1911-46, March 15-April 8, 1964.
Washington, D.C., Phillips Collection, and elsewhere, Arthur Dove and Duncan Phillips: Artist and Patron, June 13-August 16, 1981, no. 24.

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Lot Essay

Duncan Phillips was Arthur Dove's great patron, recognizing the artist's talent and importance from the moment he first saw his work and collecting him throughout his life. In 1958, on the occasion of a retrospective exhibition of Dove's work, Phillips recalled his first encounter with Dove's work, "My own discovery of Dove about 1922 was important in my evolution as a critic and collector. At that time I still had the writer's attraction to painters whose special qualities could be interpreted and perhaps even recreated in words. Fascinated from the first glimpse by Dove's unique vision, I found that I was being drawn to an artist because his appeal was exclusively visual, because his whimsically imaginative images were inseparable from his resourceful craftsmanship. He was so unstandardized that in his own period and country he embarrassed the literary critics, and even the painters and teachers of painting who deal win theories and group movements." (in F.S. Wright, Arthur G. Dove, Berkeley, California, 1958, p. 14)

Phillips wrote of Dove's career and his unique artistic vision, "Arthur G. Dove deserves to be ranked with the dissimilar Kandinsky among the earliest abstract expressionists. Certainly in the realm of uncompromising and impetuous exploration Dove was the boldest American pioneer. He was and is unique. The significant fact in his uneventful and important life is that after his twenty-seventh year he renounced a career as a successful illustrator to paint in ways unprecedented among his fellow countrymen and different from anything that had been done or was later to be done in Europe. Profound was his conversion in his years of decision to the concept of the intimately symbolical image, to be abstracted from nature and from the most familiar objects, as a new language for painting." (in Arthur G. Dove , p. 13) Car, painted in 1931, is a seminal and prescient work that is representative of Dove's greatest achievements and presages the development of art in America.

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