John Graham: Maverick Modernist at Parrish Art Museum, through July 30, 2017

“The Parrish Art Museum is presenting John Graham: Maverick Modernist—the first comprehensive retrospective in 30 years of the provocative artist’s work. Featuring 65 paintings and a selection of important works on paper from Graham’s influential four-decade career, the exhibition explores how Graham became a significant figure in the development of a distinctly American approach to art-making in the first half of the twentieth century and in what ways his continuous self-reinvention mirrored the attempts of American artists to define a new direction.

Organized chronologically and featuring works from 1923 to 1959, John Graham: Maverick Modernist illustrates the development of Graham’s style beginning with cubist-influenced still lifes, nudes, landscapes, and portraits of the1920s that waxed more abstract in the 1930s, to his radical stylistic change in the early 1940s when he veered from abstraction, instead producing portraits inspired by Renaissance and 19th-century French artists. Work from Graham’s later output alludes to his eclectic interests such as the occult and mysticism. John Graham: Maverick Modernist reconciles the phases of Graham’s career that defy categorization, revealing the congruence between the artist’s early and late styles.” — Parrish Art Museum

Still Life with Saw, 1925. Oil on canvas, 14-1/8 x 17. Collection Joseph P. Carroll and Dr. Roberta Carroll, courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York

Interior, ca. 1928. Oil on canvas, 22 1/4 x 28 1/8 inches. Collection of Mary Craven, New York

Coffee Cup (La tasse de café), 1928. Oil and sand on canvas, 19-5/8 x 25-1/2. Collection Joseph P. Carroll and Dr. Roberta Carroll, Courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York.

Nature Morte, 1929-30. Oil on canvas, 17 x 24.  Private Collection, courtesy Menconi + Schoelkopf, New York

Still Life with Pipe, 1929. 
Oil on canvas, 
13 1/4 x 23. 
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by Mr. and Mrs. George R. Brown and George S. Heyer, Jr., 77.273

Lunchroom Coffee Cup, ca. 1930. Oil on canvas, 17 x 18. Collection Allison Stabile, New York

Abstract Composition, 1941. Oil on canvas, 15 x 18-1/4. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, 2000.15.111, Museum Purchase

Two Soldiers, 1942. Oil on canvas, 20 x 24. Private Collection, Courtesy Donald Morris Gallery

Poussin m’instruit, 1944. 
Oil on panel
, 60 x 48. 
Private Collection, courtesy Claudia Stone Gallery, New York

Celia, ca. 1944. Oil, casein, charcoal, chalk, pencil, pen and ink on Masonite; 48 x 36. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Hugo Kastor Fund, 1968 (68.185)

Mascara, 1950. Oil on canvas, 23-7/8 x 19-5/8. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, Gift of Ruth Cole Kainen, 2010.104

Head of a Woman, 1954. Oil, chalk, ballpoint pen, colored pencil, pencil, brush, pen and ink on tracing paper; 24 1/4 x 18 7/8. Collection of Leonard and Louise Riggio, New York

Woman with Dodecahedron, 1959. Oil, chalk, wax crayon, pen and ink on board; 48 x 35-1/2. Myron Kunin Collection of American Art, Minneapolis Minnesota

“In many ways Graham has been a hard artist to pin down, eluding as he does the oft-told narratives of modernism. His protean career as painter, theoretician, and polemicist is long overdue for reconsideration and it is the aim of John Graham: Maverick Modernist to show how this artist remains relevant today,” said Alicia G. Longwell, Ph. D., the Parrish’s Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, who organized the exhibition.

John Graham: Maverick Modernist is organized by Alicia G. Longwell, with guest co-curator Karen Wilkin, consulting curator William C. Agee, Evelyn Kranes Kossak, Professor of Art History Emeritus, Hunter College, City University of New York, and French art historian Sophie Egly.

Images courtesy Parrish Art Museum.