DescriptionMILTON AVERY (American, 1893-1965)
Oil on canvas
44 x 34 inches (111.8 x 86.4 cm)
Signed and dated lower left: Milton Avery 1946
Inscribed and dated verso: Crucifixion 1946
Milton Avery Trust, New York;
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
University of Houston, Sarah Campbell Blaffler Gallery, Houston, Texas;
Museo de Arte Moderno de Mexico, Mexico City; Mexico;
Museo de Monterrey, Monterey, Mexico;
El Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas Venezuela;
Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California, "Milton Avery: Avery in Mexico and After," August 1981-July 1982;
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York;
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas;
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York;
The Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado;
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, "Milton Avery," September 1982-October 1983;
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee;
The Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico;
Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Florida;
Blount, Inc., Montgomery, Alabama;
Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, Utah;
Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee;
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona, "Milton Avery's Mexico," April 1984-June 1985.
R. Hobbs, Milton Avery, New York, 1990, pp. 146-7, illus. in color p. 147.
Heritage is honored to be offering Milton Avery's Crucifixion, a true masterwork from a series of paintings the artist executed after a three-month trip to Mexico with his wife and daughter in 1946. Depicting a local worshipper at the Parrocchia, a 17th-century landmark in San Miguel de Allende, Crucifixion foregrounds the vibrant color and abstracted representational forms of Mexican folk art that so captivated Avery, and which reinforced his modernist style. Avery described Mexico as "too colorful...impossible to translate," and indeed, in this series of works his palette was transformed, featuring heated, saturated pinks, oranges, yellows and blues, which simulate the hot climate and colorful culture and traditions of Mexico. The painting, with its flattened, interlocking shapes of contrasting colors and its yellow Christ also likely references Paul Gauguin's 1889 The Yellow Christ from Pont-Aven, Brittany. In appropriating such indigenous art traditions, whether Mexican or Breton, Avery infused his stylized paintings with heightened color and symbolism, bolstering their powerful, poetic quality.
Estimate: $500,000 - $700,000.
Original canvas; scattered negligible craquelure throughout; stable surface; light stretcher creases along all four edges; under UV exam, appears to be very minor flecks of in-painting in lower left and lower right quadrants (to address paint loss associated with frame wear and stretcher creases), including a 2.5-inch vertical line near right edge, an approx. 4-inch line along extreme right edge, several faint vertical lines near left edge, and a small dot in lower left corner; overall very good condition; Framed Dimensions 45.5 X 35.5 Inches
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.
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