"I strive to express the spiritual nature of the universe. Painting is for me a dynamic balance and wholeness of life; it is mysterious and transcendent, yet solid and real."
(K. Hubner, "Richard Pousette-Dart's Early Work and its Origins" in Richard Pousette-Dart, exh. cat., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 2007, p. 21)
It is in the 1940s that Pousette-Dart's role as a leading New York School artist began to take shape. Finding inspiration in Oceanic, Northwest Indian and African Art, the artist took refuge in the archetypal and elaborated in his many notebooks on the universal signifiers in his own work, "circle of spirit, square of matter, circle of G-d, square of man" (K. Hubner, "Richard Pousette-Dart's Early Work and its Origins" in Richard Pousette-Dart, exh. cat., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 2007, p. 19). Pousette-Dart incorporated this self-prescribed symbolism into his work while concurrently applying his paints to the canvas in an urgent manner that paid respect to the composition in its entirety. It is with a keen interest in Eastern philosophy, the teachings of Taoism and Buddhism that Pousette-Dart approached his most critical works. The philosopher Henri Bergson, an early influence on Pousette-Dart, provided a literary model for the artist in his promotion of '" the creative role of intuition and it's primacy over analytical thinking."'(Ibid., p. 18). Ascending Dove, 1947 is a powerful painting that alludes to the face of gothic stained glass and the machinations of a new atomic reality; more than a synthesis of modern ideas, Ascending Dove represents a modern spiritual talisman that speaks to all facets of modernity and myth.