Artist Morris Graves Dies
May. 06, 2001
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SEATTLE (AP) _ Morris Graves, a founding member of the Northwest School of art and the last of the ``Northwest Mystics,'' has died. He was 90.
Graves, died Saturday after suffering a stroke at his Northern California home near the town of Loleta.
Graves was the sole survivor of a group of four artists dubbed the ``Mystic Painters of the Northwest'' in a 1953 Life magazine piece.
He and the others _ Mark Tobey, Guy Anderson and Kenneth Callahan _ were known for a philosophy that combined Eastern religious beliefs and an appreciation for the natural world.
By the late 1930s, he had developed a style characterized by a sense of motion and transformation and exemplified by his ``Bird Singing in the Moonlight'' and ``Little Known Bird of the Inner Eye.''
In 1942, 30 of his works appeared in a Museum of Modern Art exhibition in New York titled ``Americans 1942: 18 Artists from 9 States.''
While reclusive, Graves also traveled extensively and developed friendships with leading-edge artists, including composer John Cage and dancer Merce Cunningham.
Although many of his early paintings were done at a cabin Graves built for himself near Anacortes, about 85 miles north of Seattle, he had lived in California since the 1970s.