If you read this blog regularly, you already know; that I need time to allow my art palate to rest, before I start doing research on a new artist. In order to savor the unique themes and techniques of each new artist, I need to let my visual and emotional senses breathe. It is not so easy as reaching for a light sorbet or some fruit or a simple soup, but it surely seems to be necessary for me. Perhaps it is just advancing age.
Here, the semi-abstract works of Milton Avery seem to be just what I need. Born in New York, he studied at the Connecticut League of Art Students in Hartford under Charles Noel Flagg and at the Art Society School there under Albertus Jones.
But the practical Avery worked in a series of manufacturing jobs and with an insurance company until 1924. He moved to New York in 1925, marrying the artist Sally Michel soon after. During those early, lean years, Sally was able to support him with her work as an illustrator.
He was ready for his 1st one-man show in 1928 at the city's aptly named Opportunity Gallery. This initial show was followed by decades of exhibits at galleries and museums.
Avery explained,"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. I never have any rules to follow. I follow myself. I began painting by myself in the Connecticut countryside, always directly from nature....I have long been interested in trying to express on canvas a painting with a few, large, simplified spaces."
The similar color field painting of his friend Mark Rothko was beginning to define itself as well, but Avery clung to representation throughout his career producing portraits, still lifes, and landscapes defined by lines and zones.
Read more about Milton Avery here.