Arthur Dove (1880-1946)
Assemblage of paper, newspaper, fabric, cord, broken glass, watercolor and graphite pencil on board
Overall (Irregular): 19 1/2 × 13 × 2 1/4 in. (49.5 × 33 × 5.7 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Historic Art Association of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Mr. and Mrs. Morton L. Janklow, the Howard and Jean Lipman Foundation, Inc., and Hannelore Schulhof
Arthur Dove created about thirty collages and assemblages between 1924 and 1930, several of which were symbolic portraits. In these works, he responded to the people and places around him and took pleasure in the tactile, textural quality of diverse materials. In The Critic, Dove chose his collage elements in part for their subject matter. He clipped newspaper art reviews along with illustrations of roller skates and a vacuum cleaner and pieced them together to form a satirical portrait of a portly, conservative New York art critic who glides by, gathering up the exhibitions without bothering to look at what he is taking in. The empty head and the unused monocle wittily convey Dove’s sardonic opinion of the critic’s capacity for visual and intellectual judgment.