Christie’s 5 DECEMBER 2013
MILTON AVERY | Mandolin with Pears
An important figure in the American Modernist movement, Avery was largely self-taught and experimented with color planes and patterns, bridging the gap between Matisse’s vivaciously outlined canvases and the American color field artists of the 1950s. Mandolin with Pears was executed in 1945, after Avery had aligned himself with gallerist Paul Rosenberg. Rosenberg had encouraged Avery to replace his painterly techniques with denser areas of flat colors and delineated forms, resulting in visually striking abstract works, such as the present example. Mandolin with Pears exemplifies Avery’s unique ability to simplify a scene to its broadest possible forms while retaining tension and balance through color and shape.
Christie’s NOVEMBER 30, 2011
Milton Avery’s (1885-1965) Nude on the Beach, 1943 (estimate: $300,000-500,000), was painted during the most critical period in Avery’s career. Avery’s bold abstractions exerted a highly important influence on Post-War American paintings and have been seen as critical forerunners to paintings by Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, among many others. His use of color and form to indicate depth and dimension, presented in a compressed pictorial space, represents the breadth of the American Modern aesthetic. As a key link between early 20th century art and Post-War art movements, Avery tends to appeal to collectors of both periods.