"By 1940 a discernible shift had taken place in Avery's attitude toward color. The dark palette of his previous work brightened and became more highly saturated. And he consistently introduced colors into compositions which, while related to reality, were not necessarily naturalistic...Although this use of non-associative color brought Avery closer to abstraction, compositionally he retained the more realistic pictorial structure of his Vermont landscapes - detailed, graphically articulated forms instead of the flat planes of color developed in the early thirties." (B. Haskell, Milton Avery, New York, 1982, p. 72) In Nude on a Red Stool, a work drenched in color, Avery's model and her curvilinear pose are set in direct opposition to the parallel diagonals of the floorboards and the rigid rectangle of the door and rear wall. The work is a precursor to the full maturation of Avery's style in 1944, chiefly in its use of the placement and interaction of color regions.
This painting will be included in Dr. Marla Price's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Milton Avery.