Graham Coughtry (b. 1931, St-Lambert, Québec; d. 1999, Toronto) attended the Ontario College of Art (now OCADU) from 1943-1953 and became an esteemed member of the "Isaacs Group." These artists were championed by legendary art dealer, Avrom Isaacs, who is best known for building the careers of Canadian artists William Kurelek, Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, Jack Chambers, and Gathie Falk, among others. Coughtry and Snow had an especially close relationship that developed as students through their shared interest in jazz.
As a respected professional artist, Coughtry was appointed teaching positions at the Ontario College of Art and Design, York University, and the New York School of Art. His work has been exhibited and collected by the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo).
Coughtry's recognizable depictions of abstracted figures reflect his earliest artistic influences; French painter Pierre Bonnard's vibrant yet tender scenes of daily life, and American Social Realist artist Ben Shahn's unrelenting inquietude.
Within his lifetime, Coughtry achieved a modernist aesthetic that is both sensitive and daring. His passion for jazz music reverberates in the energy of these two artworks, which he methodically balances by the subtle nature of the medium.