DeLoss McGraw Bio

Painter and poet Deloss McGraw has been a pioneer in the art and poetry collaborative movement since the 1980s. Originally from Oklahoma, McGraw migrated to California in order to attend Long Beach State University and the Otis Art Institute. In addition, he studied at Michigan's Cranbrook Academy of Art, from which he graduated in 1973 with an MFA.

Deloss McGraw's work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. His work has received critical acclaim in over 90 solo exhibitions, and is collected by such eminent institutions as: Oxford, Syracuse, Temple and Cornell Universities, as well as by the Whitney Museum of American Art Library Collection, The Library of Congress, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York which recently acquired two of his paintings. His illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland won the Illustrator's Society Book of the Year Award for 2002.

Painter and poet Deloss McGraw has been a pioneer in the art and poetry collaborative movement since the 1980s. McGraw migrated to California from Oklahoma in order to attend Long Beach State University and the Otis Art Institute. In addition, he studied at Michigan's Cranbrook Academy of Art, from which he graduated in 1973 with an MFA.

In 1976, McGraw discovered the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.D. Snodgrass, recent poet in residence at the University of Delaware who has since passed away. The artist sent Snodgrass a series of mixed media paintings that incorporated the poet's text into their compositions, who in turn, responded with new poems inspired by these images, and thus occurred a melding of media and ideas between the artists.

Since then, McGraw has developed a pictorial style in which recognizable forms are changed by his imagination into objects of poetic fancy. His figuration has been greatly inspired by so-called ‘outsider art,' most notably by the work of American folk artists that McGraw has collected since his childhood. It is from these that the artist's paintings have derived their naive quality.

He recently opened an exhibition entitled "As With A Picture, So With a Poem" at the  Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles. Click here to read a review of the show.