As its title suggests, this work portrays a stormy landscape, but one dramatically abstracted into a series of arched and rolling bands of color surrounding a large eyelike shape. Dove’s colors are the muted shades of earth and overcast sky, with the silvery, metallic sheen of the artist-made frame echoing and enhancing the grays of the composition. Like many avant-garde artists, Dove experimented with abstraction as a way to pursue an inner vision: he simplified his subjects to their most basic, organic forms, expressing a spiritual force beyond their tangible reality.
Inscription: Signed (lower center): Dove
the artist (1935–d. 1946); his estate, William and Marian Dove (1946–47; sold in March 1947 to Downtown Gallery); [Downtown Gallery, New York, 1947–52; sold on May 10, 1952 to Steinberg]; Muriel Kallis Steinberg, Chicago (1952–2006; her gift to MMA)
New York. An American Place. "New Paintings by Arthur Dove," April 20–May 20, 1936, no. 1.
New York. Downtown Gallery. "Arthur G. Dove, 1880–1946: Paintings," April 22–May 10, 1952, no. 12.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection," May 21–September 27, 1981, unnumbered cat. (p. 39).
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. "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 17, 2007–February 3, 2008, extended to March 2, 2008, no. 11.
James Fitzsimmons. "Dove's Abstract Nature." Art Digest 26, no. 15 (May 1, 1952), p. 16.
Alice Hess. "Great Private Collections: A Chicago Visionary." Saturday Review 7 (October 1980), ill. p. 75.
Hilton Kramer. "Modernist Show Moves Met Firmly into Art of 20th Century." New York Times (May 22, 1981), p. C1.
Roberta Smith. "Spacewalk." Village Voice (June 10-16, 1981), p. 89.
Ann Lee Morgan. Arthur Dove: Life and Work, with a Catalogue Raisonné. Newark, Del., 1984, p. 236, no. 36.13.
Debra Bricker Balken inAbstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 41–43, no. 11, ill. (color).