Opportunity Gallery

Milton Avery: Master of Color

September 29, 2016

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Described by critic Hilton Kramer as “without question, our greatest colorist”, the work of Milton Avery (1885–1965) represents a key turning point in the history of American art. Working between figuration and abstraction, Avery delineated his forms with the simplest possible means and painted flat planes of vivid color. Despite obscure origins, Avery acquired prominent admirers, with Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko forming a close circle around the artist. It is thought that Rothko’s late use of thinned paint can be traced back to the weekly sketching sessions held at Avery’s apartment. Approaching Storm (1938) is an early work on paper depicting a rugged coastline and a dramatic stormy sky. Understated, yet poetic, this is a typically masterful work by this seminal 20th century artist.