Arthur Dove: Yes, I Could Paint a Cyclone

"Yes, I could paint a cyclone. Not in the usual sweeps of grey wind over earth, trees bending and furious sky above, I would paint the misty folds of the wind in comprehensive colors. I would show repetitions and convolutions of the range of the tempest. I would paint the wind and a landscape chastised by the cyclone." (Dove quoted in H. Effa Webster, "Artist Dove Paints Rhythms of Color," Chicago Examiner, March 15, 1912)
Arthur Dove: Yes, I Could Paint a Cyclone presents a dynamic survey of increasingly nonrepresentational works that trace Dove’s evolution as a painter and reveal his unyielding interrogation of established artistic convention. Dove’s earliest expression of his unique nonrepresentational style marks the first sustained effort in developing non-figuration by an American artist. His mature work was motivated by a desire to express, or “extract,” as he explained, his experience of the ephemeral elements of his surroundings—such as wind, rain, light, and sound—rather than to depict a realist observation of the environment. His extraordinary late pictures feature flat geometric and biomorphic forms and bold color that anticipate subsequent developments in post-war movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting. Yes, I Could Paint a Cyclone unites more than 70 important works in oil, pastel, watercolor, and charcoal from distinguished foundations and private collections throughout North America. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue featuring texts by leading scholars including Rachael DeLue, Professor in American art at Princeton and author of the monograph Arthur Dove: Always Connect (2016).