b. 1885, Altmar, NY
d. 1965, New York, NY

"From the beginning there was nothing tentative about Avery. He always had that naturalness, that exactness and that inevitable completeness which can be achived only by those gifted with magical means, by those born to sing."
Mark Rothko


The oeuvre of the American artist Milton Avery (*1885 Altmar US | †1965 New York US) not only spans a significant period of American art history, but itself impacted the development of modern art. Nevertheless, it took some time before his work received recognition. This was mainly because of Avery's modest character. He wrote virtually nothing, participated in no organizations, and spoke with such reticence that hardly any oral testimony was recorded. Instead of all the spectacular gestures, public swaggering, and promotional pronouncements that are so common in the art scene, Milton Avery seemed to have had no will to express himself in any way other than painting: “Why talk when you can paint?.”

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Selected exhibitions

2014, Coptic Art, Dikran Kelekian, and Milton Avery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

2014, Made in the USA, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

2013, Milton Avery, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

2011, Milton Avery & The End of Modernism, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY

2010, Milton Avery: Industrial Revelations, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY

2009, Milton Avery, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

2007, Magical Means: Milton Avery and Watercolor, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY

2006, Milton Avery and the sea: Works on Paper, Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA

2005, Milton Avery: A Retrospective of Nudes, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL

2004, Discovering Milton Avery: Two Devoted Collectors: Louis Kaufman and Duncan Phillips, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

2001, Milton Avery: Late Work, Landscapes and Seascapes, 1951 – 63, Waddington Galleries, London, UK

1999, Milton Avery, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

1994, Milton Avery: Works on Paper, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Selected literature

Rathbone, Eliza E., Discovering Milton Avery : two devoted collectors, Louis Kaufman and Duncan Phillips, Washington: Phillips Collection, 2004

Hobbs, Robert, Milton Avery: The Late Paintings, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001

Milton Avery : late work, landscapes and seascapes 1951 – 1963, London: Waddington Gallery, 2001

Hobbs, Robert, Milton Avery, New York: Hudson Hills Press,1990

Haskell, Barbara, Milton Avery, New York: Harper & Row publishers, 1982

Johnson, Una E., Mark Rothko, Milton Avery : Prints and drawings 1930-1964, New York: Brooklyn Museum, 1966