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Arthur Dove
American, 1880 - 1946

Cars in a Sleet Storm, 1938
American Painting
Oil on canvas
15 x 21 in. (38.1 x 53.3 cm), without frame

Marion Stratton Gould Fund,  51.4

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About the Object

Painted in Geneva, NY, Cars in a Sleet Storm is representative of Arthur Dove's personalized abstract vocabulary with which he responded to the world around him.  Dove, along with Georgia O'Keeffe and Marsden Hartley, were members of a group of modernist American artists championed by the photographer Alfred Stieglitz in his 291 Gallery in Manhattan.
[Gallery label text, 2007]

Arthur G. Dove was a native of Geneva, New York, about 46 miles from Rochester.  Early on, rural New York State did not satisfy Dove's desire for a more engaged artistic life, and a few years after the turn of the 20th century, he moved to New York City and then to Paris.  On his return to the United States in 1910, he began to paint abstract landscapes, and is considered one of America's first abstract painters. Dove's work was actively exhibited by photographer Alfred Stieglitz in his Gallery 291 and Intimate Gallery, major centers of avant-garde art in the United States.  Stieglitz also showed the work of Georgia O'Keeffe whom he married in 1924.

Cars in a Sleet Storm was painted at the end of Dove's years in Geneva, where he had returned to manage his father's estate.  

Dove's own words align him with the 20th century movement away from identifiable subject matter:"I would like to make something that is real in itself, that does not remind anyone of any other thing, and that does not have to be explained like the letter A, for instance."  He also commented, ". I no longer observed in the old way, and not only began to think subjectively but also to remember certain sensations purely through their form and color, that is, by certain shapes, planes of light, or character lines determined by the meeting of such planes."

[Gallery label text, 2006]