One of the first abstract painters in America, Arthur Dove—together with his close friend Georgia O’Keeffe—belonged to a group of artists associated with Alfred Stieglitz, a pioneering photographer and ardent supporter of American modernism. Dove’s work, rooted in nineteenth-century romantic idealism, explored the spirituality of nature as a counterweight to the materialistic culture of the industrial age. In this solemn painting silvery industrial tanks soar toward the moon like mysterious totems of a pantheistic faith. Dove would have agreed with his colleague Paul Strand that “spiritual control over the machine” was a principal goal of art.
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