Green Inspiration from Painter Milton Avery

Green Inspiration from Painter Milton Avery

Mark Chamberlain
Sep 15, 2009

I happened across a gallery exhibition of paintings by Milton Avery over the weekend — a favorite of mine in my halcyon days of art school — and I thought a quick discussion of his work would dovetail nicely with Arts, Crafts and Collections month here at Apartment Therapy.

I haven't come across a grouping of his work in ages, yet quickly re-embraced what I loved about his work in the first place — softness, great shape, graceful clumsiness, deliberation and, yes, color. What caught my eye this time around was green, a color I hate unless I love it, and here I loved it. Avery uses a wide set of colors that never settle on being the same thing twice. Look for green that is arsenic, coke-bottle and lichen; there are warm fir and olive greens, and musty greens redolent of an English castle.

The green in the opening photo is a good point to interject "interiors" into the conversation, and it's a color that I think of as "old" though here it looks properly Mid-Century. Try Farrow & Ball for a good set of greens that would look good in a 18th century estate or work well to contemporary advantage.

Milton Avery on view through October 3, 2009 at the DC Moore Gallery, 724 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street.

(Images: courtesy DC Moore Gallery)

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