In early 1929, Dove and his partner, artist Helen Torr, lived in a waterside cottage near Noroton Point, Connecticut. A seasoned boatman and keen observer of nature, Dove undoubtedly watched the chilly winter tides ebb and flow on the Long Island Sound. He distilled those observations in this nearly monochromatic abstraction, in which irregular waves, some tipped with flecks of white suggestive of foam, rush toward an implied shoreline across a background of vertical bars that evoke the ridges of the ocean floor. By harnessing the emotional power of color and line, Dove expressed his subjective response to nature.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (on back of stretcher, upper center): Reaching Waves/ 1929. Dove.
the artist (to Stieglitz); Alfred Stieglitz, New York (probably 1929–d. 1946; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA)
Intimate Gallery, New York. "Dove Exhibition," April 9–28, 1929, brochure no. 5.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Alfred Stieglitz: His Photographs and His Collection," February 2–29, 1948, extended to March 7, 1948, no catalogue (checklist no. 68).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "20th Century Painters: A Special Exhibition of Oils, Water Colors and Drawings Selected from the Collections of American Art in the Metropolitan Museum," June 16–October 29, 1950, unnum. brochure (p. 5).
Huntington, N. Y. Heckscher Museum. "Arthur G. Dove of Long Island Sound," August 20–September 17, 1967, no. 19.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape," April 4– August 13, 1989, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arthur Dove/Helen Torr: Land and Water," February 14–June 14, 1998, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe," October 13, 2011–January 2, 2012, no. 70.
Milton W. Brown. American Painting from the Armory Show to the Depression. Princeton, 1955, p. 106, ill. (incorrect orientation).
Ann Lee Morgan. Arthur Dove: Life and Work, with a Catalogue Raisonné. Newark, Del., 1984, pp. 172-73, no. 29.12 (incorrect orientation).
Ann Lee Morgan, ed. Dear Stieglitz, Dear Dove. Newark, Del., 1988, p. 168.
Jessica Murphy inStieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Lisa Mintz Messinger. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2011, pp. 113, 259-60, no. 70, ill. (color).