Lot Sale Results

Milton Avery

Milton Avery

Milton Avery

Milton Avery
Post-War & Contemporary Art Live auction

Lot # 033

Milton Avery
1893 - 1965 American

Brown Bird Brown Sea
colour monotype
signed and dated 1951 and on verso signed, titled, dated and inscribed "monotype"
18 x 24 in  45.7 x 61cm

Waddington Galleries, Montreal
Acquired from the above by the present Important Private Collection, Montreal, then California

Barbara Haskell, Milton Avery, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1982, page 14
Pamela Gruninger, Milton Avery on Paper, Whitney Museum of American Art, Fairfield County, 1982, unpaginated

Milton Avery’s singular combination of figuration and abstraction made him an archetype of American modernism. He had a strong influence on other artists, and Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko felt that poetry penetrated every part of Avery’s work. Works such as this are based on observed nature, translated through Avery’s reductive approach into horizontal streaks for the sky and a rhythmic pattern of peaked waves to denote a wind-ruffled sea. As Barbara Haskell wrote, “His simplified, spare forms were locked together into compositions which, while seemingly effortless, were so finely balanced that to change even one shape or color saturation would destroy the equilibrium of the whole.”

In 1949, after suffering a heart attack, Avery spent time at the Research Art Colony in Maitland, Florida. While there, he began to produce monotypes, which are unique works that use printmaking techniques. Pamela Gruninger described Avery's individualistic approach to this medium as follows: “He applied oil washes to glass plates with brushes, rags, crumpled bits of paper, or his fingers, and printed them, not with a press, but usually with the back of a spoon. A base of turpentine on the glass kept his pigments from drying too rapidly.” Over the next few years, Avery produced an impressive number of monotypes, including this fine example. The bird in flight, scanning the water with its keen eye, searches for a landing place in the waves. Avery’s humorous awareness of the precariousness of this act injects an element of whimsy into his perfect arrangement of form, line, colour and space.

This lot is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity, dated 4/8/70 and signed by Sally M. Avery, and stamped with the Waddington Galleries, Montreal stamp.

Estimate: $6,000 ~ $8,000 CAD

Sold For: $10,000.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)

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