Arthur Dove (1880-1946), Me and the Moon, 1937, wax emulsion on canvas, 18 x 26 in. Washington D.C., Phillips Collection.
Arthur Dove realised that reality was not the cogent rationalization we try to make of it but rather a series of ‘flows’, like milk from many different cows being blended together in the churns – infinite creamy goodness. ‘Abstraction’ is the logical product of such a realisation. This painting came from a song. It may be an extension of the music or it may be the music itself reflected in the oily puddle of a restless man’s mind. Either way, there is beauty, and perhaps some horror. DH