Artist biography

Milton Avery 1893-1965

American landscape and figure painter who developed a simplified style with large areas of glowing colour. Born in Altmar, New York. Moved with his family to Hartford, Connecticut, 1905. Took a correspondence course in lettering and studied briefly at the Connecticut League of Art Students with the intention of becoming a commercial artist. Worked at a variety of night jobs, including from 1913 a night shift at the US Tire and Rubber Co., in order to be able to paint the Connecticut countryside during the day-time. Moved to New York in 1925. After his marriage in 1926 his wife's earnings as an illustrator enabled him to concentrate on painting, though it was not until 1935 that he had his first one-man exhibition, at the Valentine Gallery, New York. In the 1930s a group of younger painters, including Gottlieb and Rothko, often joined him to draw from the model. He always lived in New York in the winter and travelled widely in the United States. Visited Europe for the first time in 1952. Died in New York.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.24-5