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Artists Milton Avery
Milton Avery Photo

Milton Avery

American Painter

Movement: Early American Modernism

Born: March 7, 1885 - Sand Bar, New York

Died: January 3, 1965 - New York, New York

Milton Avery Timeline

Quotes

"I never have any rules to follow. I follow myself."
Milton Avery
"Why talk when you can paint?"
Milton Avery
"The canvas must be completely organized through the perfect arrangement of form, line, color, and space. Objects in the subject matter, therefore, cannot be painted representatively..."
Milton Avery
"I like to seize the one sharp instant in Nature, to imprison it by means of ordered shapes and space relationships. To this end I eliminate and simplify, leaving apparently nothing but color and pattern. I am not seeking pure abstraction; rather, the purity and essence of the idea - expressed in its simplest form."
Milton Avery
"I always take something out of my pictures, strip the design to essentials; the facts do not interest me so much as the essence of nature."
Milton Avery
"Art is like turning corners, one never knows what is around the corner until one has made the turn."
Milton Avery

"I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, colors, form a set of unique relationships, independent of any subject matter. At the same time I try to capture and translate the excitement and emotion aroused in me by the impact with the original idea."

Synopsis

A singular artist, Milton Avery defied stylistic trends and charted his own way through American Modernism. A quiet man who did not necessarily fit the romantic, bohemian notion of the modern, avant-garde artist, Avery boldly used color and abstracted forms to convey a unique vision of the American scene. Friends with the young Abstract Expressionists, Avery imparted his unique vision of the power of color to them, and in turn, he seemed intrigued by their explorations of the power of ambiguous, abstract compositions.

While often overlooked in the annals of American art, Avery was a touchstone not only for the Abstract Expressionists and later Color Field Painters, but also for more contemporary painters, like Peter Doig, who emphasize color to convey the moods of places and memories. While his reputation was often overshadowed, Avery's art seems newly fresh again.

Key Ideas

Steeped in the color experiments of European modernists, such as the Fauves and German Expressionists, Avery used color in sharp and subtle ways, creating visual patterns that both stimulate and soothe the viewer. Eschewing the bravura brushstrokes of the French and German artists, Avery's color takes on a more timeless and serene feel.
Avery abstracted forms to their simplest shapes and component parts,leaving out extraneous details. His aim in doing so was to convey the idea, the essence, of the object, whether a model or a landscape. While many of his compositions could be quite abstract, he insisted on representing the real world of things and people.

Biography

Milton Avery Photo

Childhood

Milton Avery was born on March, 7 1885 in Sand Bank, New York. His family was working class - his father was a tanner - and he was one of four siblings. When he was thirteen the Averys moved to Wilson Station, Connecticut.

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Milton Avery Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Milton Avery
Interactive chart with Milton Avery's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Henri MatisseHenri Matisse
Arthur DoveArthur Dove
Stuart DavisStuart Davis

Personal Contacts

Marsden HartleyMarsden Hartley
Barnett NewmanBarnett Newman
Adolph GottliebAdolph Gottlieb
Mark RothkoMark Rothko

Movements

American Modernism

Influences on Artist
Milton Avery
Milton Avery
Years Worked: mid-1920s - 1964
Influenced by Artist

Artists

William BaziotesWilliam Baziotes
Hans HofmannHans Hofmann
Morris LouisMorris Louis
Kenneth NolandKenneth Noland
Fairfield PorterFairfield Porter

Personal Contacts

Barnett NewmanBarnett Newman
Adolph GottliebAdolph Gottlieb
Mark RothkoMark Rothko

Movements

Color Field PaintingColor Field Painting
Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Kristen Osborne-Bartucca

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Kristen Osborne-Bartucca
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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