This work by Arthur Dove shows abstract shapes in red, orange and green

Arthur Dove

American, 1880–1946

Continuity, 1939

Tempera and encaustic on canvas

6 1/8 x 8 inches

Signed lower center



Arthur Dove was among the first twentieth-century American artists to produce purely abstract works—a practice he continued to varying degrees throughout his career. Dove arrived in Paris in 1907, and he gained entry to art circles that included Alfred Maurer, Matisse, Picasso, and Cézanne. His style at that time was Impressionist, but he worked to reduce Impressionism to larger areas of pure color in the manner of Matisse. Dove returned to New York in 1909 and met the influential photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz who exhibited his early modern work derived from landscape and organic subjects.

In 1938, Dove and his wife Helen Torr moved to an inlet of Long Island where they lived in a small cottage for the remainder of their lives. Continuity was completed during this period and depicts a feeling of balance and control with flat forms of subtle color spread evenly throughout the composition. Continuity, and Dove’s later paintings recall Matisse’s flat, saturated color forms that he produced late in his career. These examples of pure abstraction would be influential for the early Abstract Expressionists Arshile Gorky and Mark Rothko.

This work by Arthur Dove shows abstract shapes in red, orange and green