Artist of the Month: November

Doug Argue
November 4, 2020
Artist of the Month: November

In honor of the release of his new monograph published by Skira, Doug Argue: Letters to the Future, Waterhouse & Dodd is pleased to again feature the remarkable artist Doug Argue as our November Artist of the Month.


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Argue’s 30-year painting career has culminated in a striking body of abstract work that encompasses a diversity of mediums and formats. His compositional approach extends to both spatial construction and figural depiction in an oeuvre that lyrically conjures metaphors and art-historical references to the past and present. His canvases are filled with fluid orchestrations of biomorphic forms and geometric shapes, amidst spontaneous gestural swaths of color. His forms sweep over different pictorial depths and surfaces suggesting movement, instability, and the passage of time. Integral to Argue’s vocabulary of shapes are computer-generated stencils of scattered letters which dissipate across these illusionistic fields to form their own lexical cosmos.


Edited by veteran arts journalist Claude Peck, Letters to the Future explains and contextualizes Doug Argue’s trajectory from art-school rebel to celebrated, much-exhibited artist on a global stage. It contains an interview that reveals intense details of the painter’s childhood as well as his years in Minneapolis, San Francisco and New York, where he has lived with his wife, noted landscape architect Mary Margaret Jones, since 2011.


The lavishly illustrated book includes more than 170 color plates of work from throughout Argue’s astonishing career. It is published in partnership with Weisman Art Museum in conjunction with a forthcoming exhibition of Argue’s work at the museum. 


For more details on the book or to purchase a copy, please call +1 (212) 717-9100 or email us at



Here’s what the art world is saying about the book:



Doug Argue is a great virtuoso, making paintings that cover the range of styles, from witty representational works to exquisite abstractions.  He has absorbed all of art history, using its resources critically, to fresh aesthetic and expressive effect.  His art is a stunning achievement, all the more so because its contradictions bespeak those of our society.  Beautifully illustrated, and with insightful essays about his work, this book is a testimony to his brilliance.


Donald Kuspit

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Philosophy 

State University of New York at Stony Brook 



It's wonderful to be reminded of the 35 year trajectory of Doug Argue's work. It's a gorgeous book- great images, beautifully printed.


Adam Weinberg

Alice Pratt Brown Director

Whitney Museum of American Art




I have known Doug Argue's work for years, have followed its metamorphosis and have been impressed by the energy that goes into and comes out of it. Here we have a record of all that energy compressed into one handsome volume.


Robert Storr

Artist, author, critic, and curator




A gorgeous commemoration of Doug Argue and his changing- evolving- styles. I'm pushing everything else off the coffee table. Big Argue’s Comin’ in!


Billy Collins

Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003




Edited by Claude Peck

Essays by Mary E. Frank, Elizabeth Armstrong and Charles Riley III

Poem by Ocean Vuong

Director’s Foreword by Lyndel King

Designed by Michelle Edelman, Traffic, Inc.


Pages: 275 pg. + 4-pg. Cover

Size:  10.125 x 13.125 Inches (finished); 25.31 x 32.81 cm



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