Artwork Title: Two Sisters - Artist Name: John D. Graham

Two Sisters

John D. Graham, 1944

48 x 48 inch
..."though “original,” Graham’s women are composed from quotations or paraphrases of Renaissance masterpieces.” Look at their embellished dresses, the abundant jewelry on the 2 sisters, and their formal poses. It’s as if these details were borrowed from Late Italian Renaissance portraits of Spanish nobility. Graham then goes on to contrast the portrait with flattened perspectives (Matisse’s Red Room (Harmony In Red), 1908), absolute lack of depth, and unrealistic colors favored by the Fauvists. The merging of stylistic elements doesn’t stop there. The fractured geometric planes against which the sisters are placed are surely Cubist in nature. At the same time, the flat pink of their skin reminds us of Philip Guston who was known for using a very similar shade in his semi-figurative abstractions. The unexpected juxtaposition of objects – the pigeon on the bare-breasted sister’s lap – can be traced to Surrealism. Not... (
sistersbirdpigeoncharcoalenameloilpenciland casein on composition board

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