Oil and wax emulsion on canvas
20 1/4 x 32 in.
signed, l.c.: DOVE.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Dove was fascinated by meteorology, and he kept detailed records of his weather observations in his journal. Completed in 1940, Thunder Shower may have been inspired by a storm that he drove through on Long Island in September of 1939 while traveling with his wife, the artist Helen Torr.
The picture shows a lightning bolt cutting through the sky, illuminating the surrounding clouds in a burst of yellow light. In painting the weather, Dove sought to convey more than just visible sensations. The layered sawtooth shapes of orange, blue, and red mimic the uneven illumination of an unsettled sky, but they also suggest the radiating soundwaves of a thunderclap. Meanwhile, to the left of the lightning bolt flecks of black paint suggest the process of moisture condensing into raindrops, an idiosyncratic reference to the unseen processes that shape the natural world.
—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)