The Critic (1925) by Arthur Dove

The Critic - Arthur Dove - 1925

Artwork Information

TitleThe Critic
ArtistArthur Dove
Dimensions19 3/4 x 13 1/2 x 3 5/8 in. (50.2 x 34.3 x 9.2 cm)
Art MovementDada
Current LocationWhitney Museum of American Art, New York

About The Critic

“The Critic” is a collage crafted by Arthur Dove in 1925. This piece, belonging to the Dada art movement and possessing a figurative genre, measures 19 3/4 by 13 1/2 by 3 5/8 inches (50.2 x 34.3 x 9.2 cm). It is located at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The artwork represents a powerful example of the experimental approaches characteristic of early 20th-century avant-garde art.

The artwork depicts a human-like figure assembled from various elements, with the central form composed largely of newspaper clippings, which are adhered to a backing to create the figure’s body. The figure stands upright, and its head is replaced by a fez-like cap, suggestive of its role as a critic, while the absence of facial features may imply a certain anonymity or universality. The use of text and printed material in constructing the figure not only manifests the essence of the Dada emphasis on the absurd and the role of found objects in art, but it also might convey a message about the influence or nature of critique in the artistic field. Inclusion of non-traditional materials and the three-dimensional aspect of the work demonstrate how Dada artists broke away from conventional art forms and embraced new mediums.

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