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
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About The Critic

Arthur Dove’s artwork, The Critic, is a collage piece he created in 1925. Dove was known for extracting essential forms from nature scenes to create his works of abstraction, which is evident in The Critic. The assemblage includes various materials such as paper, newspaper, fabric, cord, and broken glass. Dove chose these elements, in part, for their subject matter in The Critic, which is a symbolic portrait of a critic.

The artwork is controversially titled, as it was initially named Nigger Goes A-Fishin’. However, after being acquired by Duncan Phillips for his museum, the title was changed to The Critic. The artwork is part of a collection housed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and is one of over twenty-five collage pieces made of actual objects, both manufactured and natural.

Overall, Dove’s creation of The Critic showcases his talent for assembling various materials to create an imaginative yet meaningful piece of art. The artwork’s theme embodies how critics have the power to analyze and shape opinions about art, the same way Dove used his materials to shape his piece. Hence, The Critic is not only a visual representation of Dove’s talent, but it is also a nod to the role of critics in the art world.

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