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Morris Graves
Triumph
1955
Oil on canvas mounted on masonite

35 x 44.5 inches


Schmidt Bingham Gallery

"Triumph," was painted in Ireland during the winter of 1955.  At the time, others thought it dark and depressing.  Morris loved it.  He had been inspired by the discovery of these parrot tulips thriving in Lady Banks garden in County Cork.  He took detailed notes and drawings -- struck by a remnant of the old world. The once popular "Triumph" tulips had been planted during the Tulip Craze of the 17th century.

Graves had always been attracted to plants and animals that could sustain themselves, even flourish, in remote areas.  When he arrived in Ireland (to escape the "machine age noise" of Seattle), he made a series of hibernating animals that bespeak a need to draw into oneself, into the quiet of isolation.... In the intense isolation the Yoga mandala blooms.  (M.G.)

As in no other painting by Morris Graves, the flowers in "Triumph" are not grounded by vessels or base.  They are detached, heading off into the infinite.  Spirit free from matter.  The witness of Morris Graves' inner eye.

"Where to go?  Twentieth-century's everywhere.
He sees in the night: he listens.
He sees as blind men do.  Aerial relationship.
Noticing each is free to move in his own way.
Breathing. Luminousness. Iridescence.

Earth above. earth below (K'un K'un):
nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space against time.
Devotion.  No combat:  completion.
The coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses."
John Cage, Series re Morris Graves, 1973




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