Studious Sketcher

Studious Sketcher

1945

Milton Avery

(American, 1885-1965)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 107 x 86.7 x 6.4 cm (42 1/8 x 34 1/8 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 91.4 x 71.1 cm (36 x 28 in.)

Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1967.94

Location

Description

Milton Avery contributed to developments in mid 20th-century painting with his treatment of figure
and landscape as flat patterns of vivid color. Inspired by his family, friends, and the world
around him, Avery produced many figure paintings during the 1940s. While he often eliminated an
individual’s facial features, in this exampe he sketched eyes, brows, and mouth, shaping the rest
of the face with patches of light and dark gray. The rendering of the woman’s clothing in areas of moss
and acid green suggests shadow, light, and space. The red chair, crimson carpet, and light blue wall
do not necessarily reflect reality, but indicate Avery’s responses to the way the colors looked together. Despite his concern with the relationships of shape and color, he explained, "I am not seeking
pure abstraction; rather the purity and essence of the idea -- expressed in its simplest form."

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