Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents "Milton Avery"
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents "Milton Avery," a major survey of the 20th century American master’s paintings. Organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, this long overdue exhibition includes a careful selection of Avery’s most celebrated paintings charting his career trajectory. His last retrospective was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1982.
The exhibition opens with Avery’s works through to the early 1940s, revealing the influence of the American Impressionists and his longtime appreciation of the landscape. The second chapter features the mid- to late 1940s, when the artist’s focus began to shift to a greater concentration on form. Avery’s mid-career subjects include scenes of the quotidian, taking from the European Modernist painters the tendency to depict the ordinariness of the subject and in doing so highlighting composition.
Avery’s late work, from the 1950s through to the early 1960s, demonstrates the continuing impact of European Modernists on the artist’s approach to art making, particularly Henri Matisse, from whom he takes permission to increasingly employ non-associative colors. The selection also shows the extent to which Avery perfected his unique ability to balance color and shape in progressively more abstracted compositions. Having exerted such a profound influence on the emerging young color field Abstract Expressionist painters, he also took much from them, with his scale increasing and his works becoming less dependent on the figurative content.