MILTON AVERY (American 1893-1965)
    Laguna Beach, 1943
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
    Signed and dated lower left: Milton/Avery/1943
    Inscribed, signed and dated verso: "Laguna Beach"/by Milton Avery/16 x 20/1943

    Milton Avery's generalized treatment of form and flattened color masses linked him artistically with the development of Abstract Expressionism during the 1940s. Indeed, his friendships woth Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb proved to be mutually inspirational, even though Avery never entirely relinquished a desire for representation in his painting.

    Avery began to achieve critical success in 1944, when he had his first museum exhibition at the Phillips Memorial Gallery in Washington, D.C. Major opportunities soon followed, including this first retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1952. The Whitney Museum organized retrospectives of Avery's work in 1960 and 1982. Following Avery's death in 1965, Rothko remarked: 'Avery is first a great poet. His is the poetry of sheer loveliness of sheer beauty. Thanks to him this kind of poetry has been able to survive in our time...There have been several others in our generation who have celebrated the world around them, but none with inevitability where the poetry penetrated every pore of the canvas to the last touch of the brush' ('Commemorative Essay,' in Milton Avery (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art. 1982), p. 181).

    Avery typically spent his summers in New England ,but in 1941 he drove cross-country from New York to California, and visited Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks along the way. While on the west coast he spent a month in Laguna Beach in Southern California where he painted the present canvas.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    25th Friday
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