LAMA BLOG

Artist Spotlight: Milton Avery

November 7, 2018

Milton Avery began his study of abstract form at a time when such a style was certainly not popular in the United States. Deemed the “American Matisse,” Avery was highly influenced by the expressiveness of French Fauvism, whose members used color to express emotion rather than accurately represent their subject, though Avery’s color palette tended more towards the subtle pastels favored by the Impressionists than the bold colors of the Fauvists. He combined this with the “untutored look” of folk art to create a new brand of American modernism. His works are often described as airy and full of whimsy, and in his landscapes, still lifes, and figure studies, Avery examined the most basic forms of his subjects by flattening his volumes to the point of almost eliminating any sense of perspective. To realize his characteristically lyrical mood, Avery purposely left out “unnecessary” realistic details, that in his opinion, “disorganized space in the canvas.” Avery’s prominent influence can easily be read in the work of later Color Field painters like Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, who extended Avery’s simplification of form to its natural end point.


Milton Avery, Mother and Child by the Sea, 1944
November 18, 2018 Auction, The Collection of Gerard L. Cafesjian

 


Chastain, C. “Avery, Milton Clark (1885-1965), artist.” American National Biography, Feb, 2000.


LOT INFORMATION

Lot 65
Milton Avery
Mother and Child by the Sea
1944
Watercolor on paper
Signed and dated lower left edge of sheet; retains Riva Yares Gallery label frame verso
Composition/sheet (vis.): 21.5″ x 29.75″; Frame: 30″ x 38″; (Composition/sheet: 55 x 76 cm)
Provenance:  Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

Estimate: $60,000–70,000
November 18, 2018 Auction, The Collection of Gerard L. Cafesjian

 

Lot 66
Milton Avery
Sleeping Nude
1958
Flobrush and ink on paper
Signed and dated lower left sheet; retains Comsky Gallery label frame verso
Composition/sheet: 13.875″ x 16.75″; Frame: 20.25″ x 23.25″; (Composition/sheet: 35 x 43 cm)
Provenance:  Barbara Walbridge, La Jolla, California; Thence by descent; Christie’s, New York, New York, September 27, 2011, lot 53

Estimate: $3,000–5,000
November 18, 2018 Auction, The Collection of Gerard L. Cafesjian

 

Lot 67
Milton Avery
Nude with Stool
1952
Felt-tip marker on paper
Signed and dated lower right; retains The Pollock Gallery and Waddington Galleries labels frame verso
Sheet: 16.75″ x 13.75″; Frame: 26.5″ x 22.5″; (Sheet: 43 x 35 cm)
Provenance:  The Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Canada; Christie’s, New York, New York, June 22, 2011, lot 170

Estimate: $3,000–5,000
November 18, 2018 Auction, The Collection of Gerard L. Cafesjian

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