The Easel

Overshadowed for Years, Milton Avery Became an Icon of American Painting

Avery, it seems, was nearly great. His talent lay as a colourist and seeing Matisse’s work led him to the idea of a painting as a field of colour, one without depth. Then he met Rothko who both promoted Avery’s career and was inspired by his subtle and distinctive use of colour. Avery’s work, said Rothko, was “the poetry of sheer loveliness, of sheer beauty.”