Born in 1885 to a working-class family in Connecticut, Milton Avery left school at 16 to work in a factory. Intending to study lettering but soon transferring to painting, he attended evening school for 15 years before moving to New York in the 1920s to pursue a career as a painter.
Although he never identified with a particular movement, Avery was a sociable member of the New York art scene. He became a figure of considerable influence for a younger generation of American artists, including Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb and Barnett Newman. His talent was praised by Rothko, who said of his work that “the poetry penetrated every pore of the canvas to the last touch of the brush.”
With more than 100 color reproductions, this volume is the first overview of Avery’s pioneering work in many years. Edith Devaney introduces Avery and his work, while Erin Monroe looks at Avery’s early years in Hartford, and Marla Price examines Matisse’s influence upon his art. A conversation with the artist’s daughter March Avery Cavanaugh and an illustrated chronology by Isabella Boorman complete the book.
Milton Avery (1885–1965) was born in upstate New York and studied at the Connecticut League of Art Students and the Art Society in Hartford before moving to Manhattan, where he began his career, in 1925. His works are in museum collections worldwide, including the National Gallery of Art, Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.