Milton Avery (1885-1965)
Born in Altmar, New York, Avery studied art in Hartford, Connecticut before settling in New York City in 1925. Although much of his painting is abstract, he never abandoned realistic images. 1944 was a watershed year for Avery, largely because of a new gallery association with Paul Rosenberg in New York. Rosenberg had fled to New York from Europe with both a strong interest and inventory of avant-garde paintings, which he wanted to enhance. In addition to this collection, he agreed to buy twenty-five of Avery’s paintings twice a year, which meant that Avery did not have to worry about money and was free to create. With this new freedom, he became much more prolific, and his style changed from a brushy, painterly application and graphic detailing to denser, more even areas of flattened color within delineated forms. As his career continued, he became more and more focused on concentrated color within simple, broadly contoured shapes. He perfected the technique of applying thin washes of paint to create veiled fields of colorIn January, 1949, he had an heart attack that left him physically weak for the remainder of his life, and he died in 1965, having suffered a second heart attack three years earlier.