American Legends: From Calder to O'Keeffe

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This audio guide highlights selected works by artists in American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe. Curators, scholars, and artists provide additional commentary.

About this artist: Arthur Dove

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Narrator: Around 1910, Arthur Dove became the first American artist to make a painting that had no recognizable images in it. He resisted calling his paintings “abstractions.” Instead, he insisted that they were extractions,” since he worked to extract the essential nature of real-world subjects. He believed that objects and places had inner, elemental spirits that were not reflected in their physical forms. His exploration of the line between abstraction and figuration connected him to Georgia O’Keeffe, perhaps his closest colleague among the artists who exhibited with Alfred Stieglitz.

Narrator: Around 1910, Arthur Dove became the first American artist to make a painting that had no recognizable images in it. He resisted calling his paintings “abstractions.” Instead, he insisted that they were extractions,” since he worked to extract the essential nature of real-world subjects. He believed that objects and places had inner, elemental spirits that were not reflected in their physical forms. His exploration of the line between abstraction and figuration connected him to Georgia O’Keeffe, perhaps his closest colleague among the artists who exhibited with Alfred Stieglitz.