Our Art / Arthur Dove / Tree Forms and Water

Tree Forms and Water by Arthur Dove
Tree Forms and Water by Arthur Dove

Tree Forms and Water, 1928

Arthur Dove

This landscape, lacking perspective and a horizon line, is so tightly cropped and simplified that it is nearly unrecognizable. How can we understand these textured shapes of intense color? The title provides a clue: the blue sections could be ripples of water, the deep rust-brown a tree trunk. In this context, you can see the small protrusions from the upper arm of the brown trunk as buds, and the pale oval on the lower arm as a knot. Working on wood, Dove rubbed his pastels deeply into the surface. The natural grain of the panel shows through, providing the outlines of his subject.

From the Playlist
Credit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Get the Depict Frame
Display this piece - and hundreds more - at home with the Depict Frame, the world’s first museum-quality digital art canvas.