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Arthur Dove

Ferry Boat Wreck

1931

On View

Floor 8

Hurst Family Galleries

Artist

Arthur Dove (1880-1946)

Title

Ferry Boat Wreck

Date

1931

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Overall: 18 1/8 × 30 1/8 in. (46 × 76.5 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger

Accession number

56.21

Object Label

Beginning in the mid-1920s, Arthur Dove turned his attention to the watery landscape of Long Island, where he was a resident caretaker for a local yacht club until 1933. Throughout this period, Dove made paintings and collages that reflect the moods and colors of water and the effects of nature’s forces on the ever-changing surface of the sea. Ferry Boat Wreck is an abstracted interpretation of a wreck he witnessed not far from his home. The dark forms of the sinking boat are outlined against a jagged strip of sand in the foreground and successive bands of waves that merge into clouds. A disk of concentric stripes–perhaps the sun or the moon–pierces the scene. With its overlapping spaces and abstracted, interpenetrating forms, Ferry Boat Wreck expresses Dove’s desire to examine the interrelation of objects and their environments, and to convey the sensations experienced in nature rather than visual realism.

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