Extemporaneous

A work made of oil on metal, mounted on board.

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  • A work made of oil on metal, mounted on board.

Date:

1927

Artist:

Helen Torr
American, 1886–1967

About this artwork

Helen Torr and her husband, the painter Arthur Dove, enjoyed a richly artistic and supportive marriage as they both experimented with modernist art-making techniques. Extemporaneous is one of the most unusual works of Torr’s career, and it is striking for its irregular play of narrow bands of silvery gray, which exuberantly thrust into the corners of the composition. When Torr made Extemporaneous,she and her husband lived aboard a sailboat, and some part of its structure might well have informed this work. Certain elements recall shaped metal fittings, complete with small round circles that are reminiscent of rivets or nails. But the artist deliberately abstracted any recognizable motifs, leaving an eloquent exploration of pure form and color.

On View

American Art, Gallery 265

Artist

Helen Torr

Title

Extemporaneous

Origin

United States

Date

1927

Medium

Oil on metal, mounted on board

Dimensions

40.6 × 36.8 cm (16 × 14 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior acquisition of Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson; through prior bequest of George F. Porter; Mr. and Mrs. Frederick G. Wacker Jr. Endowment Fund; through prior acquisitions of Friends of American Art and Charles H. and Mary F.S. Worcester; Robert McCormick Fund; restricted gift of Elizabeth Souder Louis

Reference Number

2010.298

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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