Art: The Alchemist

Alchemists turned out to be an un appreciated and neglected lot, because they failed to make gold. Arthur Dove (1880-1946) was an alchemist in art. He too was unappreciated, and perhaps he too failed ever to achieve his goal. But Dove's devoted experiments make an intriguing chapter in U.S. art. The liveliness and evanescent loveliness of Dove's efforts are demonstrated this week by a retrospective show at Cornell University's White Museum of Art in Ithaca, N.Y. The exhibition proves him to have been an early source of the abstract expressionism which has now engulfed the nation....

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