The work of American Modernist Milton Avery will grace the walls of Victoria Miro in his first UK exhibition for more than 10 years
A man of few words, Milton Avery was said to have frequently retorted: 'Why talk when you can paint?'
Widely regarded today as one of the pioneers of American Abstract Modernism, Avery’s application of rich, swarthy colours in thick, broad brushstrokes has earned him a reputation as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
Celebrated for his luminous paintings of landscapes, figures and still lifes, his work is distinctly personal and poetic. Born in 1885 into a sleepy neighbourhood, Avery moved to New York in the 1920s to paint. Moving in bohemian circles, he befriended emerging abstract artists of the day, including Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Thanks to their radical vision, he adopted an increasingly abstract style in the interwar period.
The work of Avery, who died in 1965, is represented in museums and collections worldwide, and his prolific output has received international critical claim for decades. Indeed, that revered art critic Hilton Kramer once said that Avery 'was, without question, our greatest colourist... Among his European contemporaries, only Matisse – to whose art he owed much, of course – produced a greater achievement in this respect.'