new Arthur Dove CR in print

Arthur Dove, Sunrise I, 1936

the transcendent catalogue raisonné Arthur Dove deserves

“The Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project, launched in early 2013, aims to build on and revise the earlier compendium of the artist’s work overseen by Ann Lee Morgan in 1984. After curating two major exhibitions featuring his work—Arthur Dove: A Retrospective (1997-98) and Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence (2009)—I knew firsthand that America’s foremost abstract artist of the early twentieth century required an updated catalogue that definitively chronicled his output as a painter. With Morgan’s volume as a foundation, I sought not only to add to her entries on Dove’s known corpus of paintings and assemblages, which he called “things,” but also to illustrate each work in color. For an artist who declared in 1930, midway through his career, that his primary interest was to capture the “condition of light” elusive within nature, this seemed essential. Black-and-white reproductions, after all, can hardly allude to the metaphysical properties and sensation of transcendence that lay at the heart of Dove’s aesthetic program.

“The format of any catalogue raisonné is inherently fixed, with its prescribed chronological listings, and thereby resists invention and variation. It must prove an inventory of excavated facts—ownership histories and transactions, as well as notable exhibitions—all to serve the scholar, student, collector, and dealer. As I saw it, part of my challenge was to relieve this serial structure through some modicum of vitality. My response has been to include an essay that ties Dove’s work to the critics who (mostly) bolstered his painting during his lifetime as well as a lengthy biographical timeline that traces his career and its intersections with relevant modernist developments and preoccupations. Additionally, I have written twenty-four short essays on paintings deemed to represent some of Dove’s monuments whose formal resolution and emotional uplift stretched the known territories of American abstraction before midcentury.”

– Debra Bricker Balken
Director, The Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project

Arthur Dove: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Things
by Debra Bricker Balken; with contributions by Jessie Sentivan
Distributed by Yale University Press for the Arthur Dove Catalogue Raisonné Project
ISBN: 9780300251654 Hardcover

“… the true revelation here lies in the full-color illustrations, which track the painter through his marvels and misfires alike.” — from “BOOKFORUM CONTRIBUTORS on this season’s notable art books,” BOOKFORUM MAR/APR/MAY 2021

Above: Sunrise I, 1936, oil and wax emulsion on canvas, 25 x 35 in. Collection of Deborah and Ed Shein

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