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Milton Avery Retrospective

DATES February 17, 1970 through March 29, 1970
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
  • February 4, 1970 A comprehensive exhibition of the work of Milton Avery will be on view in the Special Exhibitions Gallery of The Brooklyn Museum, February 17 through March 29, 1970. Admission is free.

    The one hundred drawings and 27 graphics by one of America’s modern masters were selected by Adelyn D. Breeksin, Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Collection of Fine Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., who also prepared the color and black and white catalogue for the exhibition. This retrospective showing of Mr. Avery’s work, the first since his death in 1965, has been on view in Washington since December, and is focused on the last years of his life - one third of the show is devoted to the period between 1958 - 1963.

    Avery’s style is an intensely personal one, in which color and shape are manipulated into a quiet balance. The importance of his work to the American school lies chiefly in the single-mindedness with which he pursued his particular investigation of the subjects he loved to paint. In a memorial address, his friend Mark Rothko said, “He always had that naturalness, that exactness and that inevitable completeness which can be achieved only by those gifted with magical means.... (His subjects were) his living room, Central Park, his wife Sally, his daughter March, the beaches and mountains where they summered; cows, fish heads, the flight of birds; his friends and whatever world strayed through his studio: a domestic, unheroic cast.”

    The paintings and drawings were borrowed from the National Collection of Fine Arts and museums and individuals in this country and abroad. An impressive show, it includes paintings the artist executed in the 1920’s, the earliest, “Sunday Riders”, 1929. There are several of the artist’s self portraits, the most engaging of which is “Avery on 57th Street”, 1943; paintings of his wife and daughter, and the whimsical “Rooster’s Domain”, 1948 and “Bicycle Rider by the Loire”, 1954. There are also land and shorescapes such as “Dark Forest”, 1958 and “Tangerine Moon and Wine Dark Sea”.

    After the Brooklyn showing, the exhibition will open at the Columbus Gallery of Fine Art, Columbus, Ohio, on April 24.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1953 - 1970. 1970, 040-041
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