Morris Graves

Foster / White Gallery

Morris Graves’ exhibition consisted of a selection of paintings done between 1944 and 1982 and large still lifes completed in 1986. All of the latter were done in tempera on paper. In contrast to the earlier works’ modulated color, and their calligraphic stylizations inspired by Asian art, the recent still lifes are imaginative compositions in which bright bursts of color are deployed against a delicate ground or backdrop. Whereas the selection of earlier work offered few surprises, the recent work clearly represents an important departure. For the first time in his career, Graves no longer seems to be a student of Asian art and philosophy. If anything, he has absorbed this tradition—along with others, such as the still lifes of Zurbarán, other Spanish artists, and various Northern European masters—into a visionary approach that is unexpected and unlike anyone else’s.

Graves’ meditative

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