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Milton Avery

American, 1885–1965

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Milton Avery

American, 1885–1965

2,455
Followers
Biography

Depicting everyday scenes of domestic, city, and country life, painter and printmaker Milton Avery favored simplified forms and the flat application of color, inspired by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. “I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, [and] colors form a set of unique relationships, independent of any subject matter,” he once said. Avery’s early work incorporated elements of Impressionism, but his smooth planes of color and combination of figuration and abstraction would make him an archetype of American Modernism, prefiguring aspects of Color Field painting by years. Avery was a friend and source of inspiration to artists including Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, and Barnett Newman. A man of few words, he was said to have frequently quipped, “Why talk when you can paint?”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$6m, Sotheby's, 2014
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

Depicting everyday scenes of domestic, city, and country life, painter and printmaker Milton Avery favored simplified forms and the flat application of color, inspired by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. “I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, [and] colors form a set of unique relationships, independent of any subject matter,” he once said. Avery’s early work incorporated elements of Impressionism, but his smooth planes of color and combination of figuration and abstraction would make him an archetype of American Modernism, prefiguring aspects of Color Field painting by years. Avery was a friend and source of inspiration to artists including Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, and Barnett Newman. A man of few words, he was said to have frequently quipped, “Why talk when you can paint?”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$6m, Sotheby's, 2014
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Shows Featuring Milton Avery
Articles Featuring Milton Avery
The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Miami Beach
Dec 5th, 2019
The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Miami Beach
Overshadowed for Years, Milton Avery Became an Icon of American Painting
Aug 23rd, 2018
Overshadowed for Years, Milton Avery Became an Icon of American Painting
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