The heat may be getting to us.

Arthur Dove‘s influence on 20th century animation?

(left) Arthur Dove, Coal Carrier, 1929 or 1930. Oil on canvas, Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1930. (left) Domo, mascot of NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation).

(left) Arthur Dove, Coal Carrier, 1929 or 1930. Oil on canvas, Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1930. (left) Domo, mascot of NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation).

(left) Arthur Dove, 1941, 1941. Wax emulsion on canvas, 25 x 35 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1942. (right) Looney Tunes' Marvin Martian (with Bugs Bunny).

(left) Arthur Dove, 1941, 1941. Wax emulsion on canvas, 25 x 35 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1942. (right) Looney Tunes' Marvin the Martian (with Bugs Bunny).

 

 

A Way to Look at Things

Stieglitz Presents Sever Americans... Arthur Dove poem

"A Way to Look at Things", a poem by Arthur G. Dove published in Alfred Stieglitz's catalog for his exhibition, "Seven Americans", 1925. From the Phillips Collection Library, Gift of the Robert and Dana Quittner Family Trust.

In 1925, Alfred Stieglitz organized a show called Seven Americans to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his gallery, “291″. To support the works selected for the exhibition, he published four writings in the brief catalog, one of which is the poem shown above by artist Arthur Dove. Ann Lee Morgan, in her definitive book Arthur Dove: Life and Work, cites Stieglitz’s response to the poem, which addresses abstraction in art, as “a classic.” Morgan says that Dove occasionally took up poetry but that the poem printed in Seven Americans is the “most successfully constructed.”

A New Artist in The Phillips Collection

Tobi Kahn, Lyie, 1991. Acrylic on board, 32 x 12 x 1-3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of Victoria Schonfeld in memory of her parents, Hilde and Sydney Schonfeld. Photo: Klaus Ottmann

Last June The Phillips Collection acquired its first painting by the New York artist Tobi Kahn, Lyie (1991). It has now been installed in the spiral staircase of the museum’s Goh Annex. Given by Victoria Schonfeld in memory of her parents, the painting is one of Kahn’s most important paintings of his mature period when forms other than landscape, such as flowers, became a dominant theme. Like most of Kahn’s paintings, Lyie is built up of about 20 layers, beginning with modeling paste containing marble dust on top of white underpainting, followed by opaque paint layers, and finally, a layer of translucent washes.

Earlier this year, Kahn gave an inspiring keynote address at the Phillips during its Art & Innovation Design Gathering, an annual meeting of creative minds that is jointly presented by the Phillips and the University of Virginia.

This week Kahn was invited to speak at Georgetown University by the Program for Jewish Civilization. In conversation with Ori Soltes who teaches theology, philosophy, and art history at Georgetown University, Kahn spoke passionately about how he does not consider himself a Jewish artist or a painter or a sculptor, but just an artist; yet at the same time he cannot separate the knowledge of his Jewish heritage from art history. This combination undoubtedly contributes to Kahn’s unique style of painting that seems equally influenced by Jewish mysticism, such as the color symbolism of the Kabbalah, and the tradition of American modernism, so richly represented by The Phillips Collection’s holdings of Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Toward the end of the conversation, Kahn expressed gratitude to The Phillips Collection for his painting being given such generous placement: “Artists always want to have more space, ” he added, “The Phillips Collection is the perfect space.”

Tobi Kahn in conversation with Ori Soltes at Georgetown University, September 20, 2011. Photo: Klaus Ottmann