PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas January February 2022

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THE ARTIST'S ARTIST M ilton Avery has a l w a y s b e e n elusive. Though his career spanned two major artistic m o v e m e n t s — American Impressionism and any single style. His academic training in American Impressionism taught him the importance of capturing an object en plein air; his use of color and flat, abstracted shapes heavily influenced the development of Abstract Expressionism. And, although he was, unlike many of his American contemporaries, predominantly inspired by the Modernist movement that was sweeping Europe, he did not fully embrace the doctrines that artists like Matisse and Picasso espoused. This lack of belonging to any particular school, as well as his reluctance to comment on his own work, made it difficult for critics of the time to accept Avery as one of the greats. Yet those same qualities are what lend his art such longevity and esteem today. The famously prolific Avery's paintings are dispersed across museums and private collections. This year, however, marks the first time in nearly four decades that a retrospective of his remarkable career takes place. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is the first of three stops for "Milton Avery," organized by London's Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with The Modern and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The exhibition features more than 70 of Avery's most celebrated artworks, dating from 1910 through the 1960s. Curators from the three museums — Marla Price (Fort Worth), Erin Monroe (Wadsworth), and Edith Devaney (London) — wrote the compelling catalog that accompanies the exhibition. Not only is Avery's mastery in the field of color and light apparent, but his profound association with renowned artists such as Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb becomes palpable. "The color field of abstract expressionism would not have developed in quite the way it did without Milton Avery's influence," says Devaney, London's Royal Academy of Arts curator who conceived the exhibition. "He was making it look relatively simplistic, but actually it was a very complicated thing that he was doing … Using color to replace perspective, paring down in shapes." "Milton Avery," through January 30, 2022, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Abstract Expressionism — the New York-born early-20th-century painter consistently defied categorization and exists on the outskirts of the trends and proclivities of the time. He took bits and pieces from the subjects he encountered yet never submitted to MILTON AVERY TRUST, PHOTO ADAM REICH, © 2021 MILTON AVERY TRUST / ARS, NYC AND DACS, LONDON 2021 MILTON AVERY'S HARMONIOUS COMPOSITIONS OF EVERYDAY SCENES INFLUENCED THE WAY AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF ARTISTS PAINTED. SEE FOR YOURSELF AT THE MODERN. By Dani Grande Milton Avery's Hint of Autumn, 1954, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth 64

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