Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Connecticut River

In 1908, Arthur Dove traveled to France, where he was exposed to Fauvism and Cubism. This encounter with avant-garde art fundamentally changed his conception of painting. He also absorbed the theories put forth by Russian artist Vassily Kandinsky in his treatise On the Spiritual in Art (1912), which argued for a subjective, spiritual approach to art. Like Kandinsky, who was one of the earliest practitioners of abstract painting in Europe, Dove pioneered abstraction in American art. Although naturalistic forms remain identifiable in Connecticut River, the pastel is closely based on a 1910 study titled Abstraction No. 1, making it one of the earliest American works to feature abstraction.

Arthur Garfield Dove
American, 1880–1946
Connecticut River
Pastel on linen
17 ¾ x 21 ¼ in. (45.1 x 54 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Jane and Roger Wolcott Memorial, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 76.23

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