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Morris Cole Graves (1910-2001)
Morris Cole Graves (1910-2001)
Morris Cole Graves (1910-2001)
Morris Cole Graves (1910-2001)
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Fields of Vision: The Private Collection of Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason
Morris Cole Graves (1910-2001)

Minnow

Details
Morris Cole Graves (1910-2001)
Minnow
signed and dated 'Graves/'54' (upper left)
gouache and watercolor on paper
6 x 8 ¾ in. (15.2 x 22.2 cm.)
Executed in 1954.
Provenance
Willard Gallery, New York
Susan Teller Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the late owners, circa 2005

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Paige Kestenman
Paige Kestenman Specialist

Lot Essay

The present work hung on Emily Mason's "wall of friends" in her Chelsea studio.

Morris Graves began his series of minnow paintings in 1936 and continued painting the subject into the 1950s. Wallace S. Baldinger writes, "Graves own unique symbol has been the 'the minnow.'...The later ones appeared in the fifties. These were fragile, lonely, transparent little bodies swimming deeply, but with positive direction, in opaque clouded waters." (Morris Graves: A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Eugene, Oregon, 1966, p. 14)

The artist has written of his minnows, "Silvery-minnow moment, flash-gleaming in the depths, now seen, now gone,...when crisis occurs the minnow voluntarily comes into view-to renew faith and give direction. It is then that one can catch him, too-or at least through one's direct perception memorize his characteristics to enligthen the mind...to learn that he is within ourself." (as quoted in Morris Graves: A Retrospective, 14)

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