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
© Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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 example 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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