milton avery images
Avery’s work is seminal to American abstract painting—while his work is clearly representational, it focuses on color relations and is not concerned with creating the illusion of depth as most conventional Western painting since the Renaissance has. Avery was often thought of as an American Matisse, especially because of his colorful and innovative landscape paintings. His poetic, bold and creative use of drawing and color set him apart from more conventional painting of his era. Early in his career, his work was considered too radical for being too abstract; when Abstract Expressionism became dominant his work was overlooked, as being too representational. [ citation needed ]
The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., was the first museum to purchase one of Avery’s paintings in 1929; that museum also gave him his first solo museum exhibition in 1944.  He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1963. 
Pigeons in the Park, 1961
Oil on canvasboard
Gouache on paper
Paintings by Milton Avery, available at Alpha Gallery
Milton Avery was born at Sand Bank, New York, today known as Altmar, on 7 March 1893. After studying for a while at the Connecticut League of Art Students in Hartford under Charles Noel Flagg and at the Art Society School there under Albertus Jones, Avery worked in manufacturing and with an insurance company until 1924. He moved to New York in 1925 and married the artist Sally Michel, an illustrator, a year later.
He had his first one-man show as early as 1928 at the Opportunity Gallery in New York. The decades that followed saw him show work at numerous exhibitions mounted by New York galleries and American museums. Milton Avery’s preoccupation with French Fauvism and German Expressionism led him to develop a simplified formal idiom distinguished by clarity of line and an expressive palette. Whereas Avery’s early figurative drawings and paintings from the 1930s attest to affinities primarily with the work of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, by the 1940s he was discernibly close to Henri Matisse.
As the American upholder of Matisse’s colouristic doctrine, Milton Avery developed the French artist’s decorative colour surfaces into subtly toned colour zones, thus breaking the ground for the Colour Field painting of Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, both of whom were friends of his. Even though his style was close to abstraction, Milton Avery nonetheless clung to representation throughout his entire career. Classical motifs and subject matter in portraits, still lifes and coastal landscapes were his main thematic areas and genres.
Prolific as a painter, graphic artist and ceramist, Milton Avery received numerous awards from American art institutions before he died in 1965 although he only really became famous posthumously. Now he is acclaimed as one of the most influential US 20th-century artists.
A view of Provincetown, Massachusetts, the highly abstracted Morning Sky, 1962, reveals the rich, ongoing dialogue between Avery and artists such as Rothko and Gottlieb. From the 1930s, Avery spent numerous summers in the company of these younger artists and, during the summers of 1957 to 1961, when Avery, Rothko and Gottlieb vacationed together in the popular artists’ colony of Provincetown, on Cape Cod, there was a significant coda to their reciprocal artistic dialogue, with Avery pushing his images towards the very edges of abstraction. However, while seeking to express an idea in its simplest form, Avery never sought pure abstraction for himself. Above all, he is an artist who resists categorisation. “I never have any rules to follow,” he stated in 1952, “I follow myself.”
Young Couple (Husband and Wife), a painting of the artist’s daughter and her husband, is imbued with harmony and quietude. It is one of Avery’s last large-scale canvases.
Avery was a man of few words. “Why talk when you can paint?” he often quipped to his wife. Their daughter, March Avery, is also a painter.
Milton Clark Avery (March 7, 1885 – January 3, 1965 ) was an American modern painter. Born in Altmar, New York, he moved to Connecticut in 1898 and later to New York City.