The painter Arthur Dove (1880–1946) is an artist whose work has not been much on view in New York in recent years. The lone watercolor or painting included in survey exhibitions has been intriguing, but also puzzling: seen piecemeal, Dove’s work can seem remote. His painting The Inn (1942) was on view last year in a show at the Met honoring the collectors Edith and Milton Lowenthal. Yet viewed in the context of American modernism, the picture may as well have come from Mars. This is due not only to the singularity—one might say the solitariness—of Dove’s art, but also to the fact that it isn’t well known to a lot of us. To be sure, the name of Arthur Dove is likely to prompt vaguely recalled historical tidbits: that he was part of Stieglitz’s circle; that he created collages which were, at the time, aesthetically radical; and that he may have been the first artist to paint a...

 
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