• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12165

    American Art

    22 November 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 79

    Milton Avery (1885-1965)

    March Relaxed

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Milton Avery (1885-1965)
    March Relaxed
    signed and dated 'Milton/Avery/1943' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    20 x 36 in. (50.8 x 91.4 cm.)
    Painted in 1943.


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    During the 1940s, Milton Avery painted several portraits of his daughter March, depicting her reposed in personal and introspective scenes. As his wife Sally Michel said in a 1967 interview, “Well, [March] was a continual inspiration. I mean she was always there. Milton was always painting her and as a matter of fact, [in 1947], the Durand-Ruel Gallery put on an exhibition of Milton’s entitled, ‘My Daughter, March.’…And it was the paintings that Milton had done of March from the time she was a baby until she was around 14 or 15.” (Oral history interview with Sally Michel Avery, November 3, 1967, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution) Indeed, this show featuring portraits of March was notably Avery’s first retrospective exhibition, and the works portraying his daughter remain some of the most poignant examples from his prolific career. In March Relaxed of 1943, Avery captures March at age 11 as an exaggerated figure reclined on a couch with her eyes cast downward, engaged in a leisurely read. With thick, black outlines surrounding all of the features of the scene, Avery draws particular attention to the flat shapes of high-key color creating the composition.

    Provenance

    Milton Avery Trust.
    [With]Alpha Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
    Linda Hyman Fine Arts, New York, acquired from the above, circa 2001.
    Private collection, New York.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above.


    Exhibited

    New York, Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Inc., Milton Avery: Portraits 1928-1963, Family and Friends, February 1-27, 1986, illustrated.