Milton Avery: Traveling Retrospective, New Records for Hughie Lee-Smith and more…

Milton Avery 1885-1965

I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, colors, form a set of unique relationships, independent of any subject matter. At the same time I try to capture and translate the excitement and emotion aroused in me by the impact with the original idea.
– Milton Avery

Sally and Milton Avery with their daughter, March. 1938

A retrospective of the work of Milton Avery will be traveling from the U.S. to London. It’s been thirty years since the artist’s last retrospective, which was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1982.

Avery was known as the American Matisse, because of his use of color and shapes, that are both bold and soothing.

Milton Avery
Man and Sea, 1948
Watercolor
22 x 30 inches
Signed Milton Avery 1948 (l.r.)
For sale at Surovek Gallery

His work was often overlooked by the art world in America because of the Abstract Expressionist movement of the time. He had a profound influence on younger American artists, like Mark Rothko and Kenneth Noland, and on both Color Field painting and Abstract Expressionism.

Milton Avery “Seaside”, 1945

Milton Avery
Seaside, 1945
Oil on canvas
28 x 43 inches
Signed & dated: Milton Avery 1945 (l.1.)

Avery’s wife, Sally Michel Avery, was an artist and illustrator, who shared a studio with her husband, but focused more on promoting his work than her own.

March Avery
Two Artists & a Critic, 1997

Their daughter, March Avery, is also a painter, now in her 80s. Her work is currently on display at the Parts and Labor Gallery in Beacon, New York.

Her son, Sean Cavanaugh, the grandson of Milton and Sally Avery, is also a successful artist.

Milton Avery’s retrospective is currently on exhibit at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The show will be on view at Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art from March 5 through June 5, 2022, before it travels to its final showing at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Hughie Lee-Smith 1915-1999

Hughie Lee-Smith, 1915-1999

The works of Hughie Lee-Smith, Norman Lewis and Ernie Barnes have set new records at a Swann Gallery’s recent auction.

Hughie Lee-Smith The Ribbon, c. 1960

Hughie Lee-Smith
The Ribbon, c. 1960
Oil on board
18 x 24 inches
For sale at Surovek Gallery

Hughie Lee-Smith was not just an exceptional artist, he was also an educator, who taught at the Art Students League in New York for fifteen years.

Norman Lewis 1909-1979

Norman Lewis, 1909-1979

Norman Lewis also taught at the Art Students League. His early works were figurative, and as he matured he began to paint abstract works that garnered him representation at the Willard Gallery in New York.

Norman Lewis (1909-1979) Untitled, 1960

Norman Lewis Untitled, 1960
Oil on paper
19 x 24 inches
Available at Surovek Gallery

Norman Lewis’ Past Time, 1950–51, oil on canvas, sold for $233,000, and a 1970s work on paper garnered $161,000 at the auction.

Ernie Barnes 1938-2009

Ernie Barnes

Ernie Barnes, 1938-2009

Ernie Barnes’ paintings became part of popular culture when they were used on the 1970s TV sitcom Good Times. Barnes had a career in football and was paid by the NFL to paint action on the field from the sidelines.

Ernie Barnes Setting the Game Rules, c. 1975

Ernie Barnes
Setting the Game Rules, c. 1975
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 30 inches
 Available at Surovek Gallery

A retrospective of Ernie Barnes’ work was held in 2019 at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Milton Avery, Hughie Lee-Smith, Norman Lewis, Ernie Barnes or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at Surovek Gallery.


References:
Coming Up: Milton Avery Retrospective Travels. ARTFIX daily. January 9, 2022.
Alison Rooney. Across Generations. The Highlands Current. January 8, 2022.
Baya Simons, Kyra Ho, Sara Semic and Nini Barbakadze. Six of the best new art and photography books/Celebrating modernist painter Milton Avery’s masterful use of colour. Financial Times.
Maggie Duffy. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg receives 5 masterpieces on loan. Tampa Bay Times. February 12, 2021.
African American Art Brings $5M in Record-Smashing Sale at Swann. ARTFIXdaily. October 11, 2021.
2022-01-24T09:32:19-05:00 January 12th, 2022|

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