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Ellwood Graham

American
(1911–2007)

Coxcomb
1946

Oil on masonite
34 x 34 x 1.5 in.
Gift of Jeffrey and Meri Lane
2023.2.4

Ellwood Graham settled permanently on the Monterey Peninsula in 1937, befriending prominent artists, scholars, and writers of the region’s bohemian enclave, including John Steinbeck, Doc Ricketts, and Henry Miller. After serving in the military during World War II, Graham landed in New York City. For a few years, he lived in Greenwich Village, immersed in its intellectual and artistic life. Around 1945 he began a series of what he called glyph paintings, incorporating evocative personal symbols within a matrix or gridlike structure. This direction in American art was just taking off in the work of other artists in Graham’s circle, including Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell.


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