"Table Still Life with Bird" ~ John Graham, 1929.
Oil on canvas, 81 x 99 cms.
John D. Graham (1886–1961) was a Ukrainian-born American Modernist / figurative painter. He was born Ivan Gratianovitch Dombrowsky in Kiev, Ukraine.
Graham attended law school and served in the Circassian Regiment of the Russian army, earned the Saint George’s Cross during World War I, and was imprisoned as a counterrevolutionary by the Bolsheviks after the assassination of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918. He fled for a time to his mother’s native Poland. In 1920, he emigrated with his second wife, Vera and their son, Nicholas to the United States. He began calling himself John and had his name officially changed to John Graham upon becoming a US citizen in 1927.
Along with Stuart Davis and Hans Hofmann Graham is considered as a mentor figure for the Abstract expressionist generation of American painters and sculptors. In particular he was a notable influence on Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, and Mark Rothko. He claimed to have befriended Pablo Picasso and many other important European modernists in Paris and in Russia and often entertained and lectured the younger Americans in New York City about modernist ideas, often being the bearer of radical new insights into art and creativity. He was the author of System and Dialectics of Art, (1937), an enormously influential text during the 1940s, on art, modernism and the avant-garde. He died in London in 1961. ~ Wiki.