Mars Orange and Green (Primary Title)

Arthur Dove, American, 1880 - 1946 (Artist)

Oil on canvas
United States
Unframed: 16 1/2 × 25 3/4 in. (41.91 × 65.41 cm)
Framed: 19 × 28 in. (48.26 × 71.12 cm)

Arthur Dove sought out his subject matter in the natural world. His biomorphic landscapes of the Finger Lakes region of Geneva, New York, where this work was painted, are suffused with an organic abundance. Mars Orange and Green reveals a specificity of place that resonated for many of Dove’s contemporaries. His friend Georgia O’Keeffe once explained that Dove was among her favorite painters because “he would get the feel of a particular place so completely that you’d know you’d been there.”

During his Geneva residency, from 1933 to 1938, Dove devoted himself to a systematic focus on medium and technique. The title of this picture refers to two specific paint colors the artist favored during the period. It also underscores his emphasis on artistic process. Here, the compositional elements—the trees, hills, bird, and cottage of more traditional landscape painting— have been reduced to merely schematic, if vivid, motifs.

signed lower center: "Dove"
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur S. Brinkley, Jr.
"Five Years of Collecting," VMFA, 25 March - 4 May 1980

"The Independent Spirit in American Painting", Artmobile exhibition, Fall 1975
©artist or artist’s estate

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