History And Context


Sand Barge was executed while Arthur Dove was resident caretaker at a yacht club on Huntington Harbor. He sketched from the balcony of the club as barges entered the harbor with their loads. Although inspired by an actual scene, Dove altered and rearranged its components to create a compelling, cohesive abstract image.The horizontal motif in the upper left could be a section of a crane, or it might be interpreted as a boat railing or distant bridge. The barge seems to be suggested by the blue, ocher, and gray central design. The triangular ground with specks of blue in the lower right might be the sand or a representation of the harbor's shoreline.

It was about this time that Dove began creating oils based on the watercolors he had executed outdoors. Here the final painting has a more compact design, more distinct outlines, and greater depth of color than the watercolor sketch on which it is based.

Sand Barge received favorable critical comment when it was first exhibited in 1931 at An American Place. Duncan Phillips was quick to claim the painting, praising its "exhilarating pattern" as representative of Dove's "forthright and rugged" American temperament.

More Works by Arthur G. Dove In the Collection


Green Ball
Arthur G. Dove
between 1939 and 1940
Lake Afternoon
Arthur G. Dove
1935

Over Seneca Lake
Arthur G. Dove
1935
The Park
Arthur G. Dove
1927
Phelps, New York
Arthur G. Dove
1937

Primitive Music
Arthur G. Dove
1944
R 25-A
Arthur G. Dove
1942
Red Barge
Arthur G. Dove
1931

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