Painting: The Eyes Have It

"Painted with normal eyes, a figure can wander off the canvas," John D. Graham once observed. To understand that remark, it is necessary to know something about Graham. Born Ivan Dabrowsky in Russia, he was a little-known painter who became a colorful figure in the Greenwich Village art scene and died still unrecognized at the age of 80-odd in 1961. He is currently being honored with an exhibit of 27 paintings and drawings at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art — and they show what he meant about eyes. Graham evidently felt that the...

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