Arthur G Dove's Boat Going Through Inlet makes $5.4m

Arthur G Dove's Boat Going Through Inlet (circa 1929) sold for $5.4m in an auction of American art at Christie's.

The lot headlined a sale in New York on May 21, achieving an increase of 55.1% on a $3.5m estimate.

Arthur Dove boat
Arthur G Dove was a respected early American modernist

Painted on tin, the work is a fine example of Dove's (1880-1946) unique and groundbreaking approach to modernism. He is credited with laying the foundations for the abstract expressionist movement.

Christie's explained prior to the sale: "Heralded as the very first truly abstract American artist, Arthur Dove's entire career can be defined by his innovative and ever-evolving approach to both subject matter and media.

"From his earliest pastels, to the assemblages, to seminal masterworks such as Boat Going Through Inlet executed on tin, Dove's manipulation of his material is as integral to his work as his varied choice of subject matter.

"It is this spirit of experimentation that makes him one of the most compelling artists of the 20th century."

Thomas Hart Benton's Ozark Autumn was another highlight, achieving $4.8m. This equates to an increase of 62.3% on a valuation of $3m.

The sale follows on from a major auction of American art at Sotheby's earlier in the week, which saw Georgia O'Keeffe's White Calla Lily sell for $8.9m.

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