(American, 1880–1946) is considered to be the first American Abstract painter. Born in Canandaigua, NY, Dove was a Modernist with an appreciation for nature. He attended both Hobart College and Cornell, and upon graduation from Cornell, moved to New York City in 1903. Here, he gained popularity in the art world as a commercial illustrator, working for Harper’s
magazine and the Saturday Evening Post
. In 1907, Dove moved to Paris to immerse himself in the world’s art capital. While in Europe, he met fellow American artist Alfred Henry Maurer
(1868–1932), with whom he later formed a lasting friendship. During his time in Paris, Dove was introduced to the Fauvist movement, where Henri Matisse
(French, 1869–1954) became an inspiration for his works. After his enlightening experience abroad, he returned to New York, where he was introduced via letter to American artist Alfred Stieglitz
(1864–1946). Though vastly different, the two artists agreed that art forms should embody modern spiritual values, and reject the ideas of tradition and materialism. It was Stieglitz who gave Dove his first solo show at his own 291 gallery. He supported Dove in producing what are arguably the first purely Abstract paintings to come out of America. Another longtime supporter was Duncan Phillips
(American, 1886–1966) of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Though the two met only once in 1937, Phillips attended most of Dove’s shows in New York. In exchange for his first choice of paintings, he paid Dove a commission of 50 dollars a month. In 1937, he purchased Goin’ Fishin’
(1925) for US$2,000, which at the time was the largest sum for any of Dove’s works. Around the late 1930s Dove suffered from both heart disease and Bright’s disease. In 1946, he had his final show at the 291 gallery, which featured nine paintings. Partially paralyzed, he continued to paint with the help of his wife until he passed away.