Milton Avery

March 5 – June 5, 2022

The Hartford show…is a treat. Loans from major museums are fleshed out with rarely seen paintings from private collections and the Milton Avery Trust

SEBASTIAN SMEE, THE WASHINGTON POST

The modernist American painter Milton Avery (1885–1965) expressed his vision of the world through harmonious color and simplified forms. His career spanned the movements of American Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism yet in light of these major artistic traditions, he forged a staunchly independent path as an artist. Throughout his work, Avery’s color sensibility and balance of form remained apparent. Milton Avery, the first retrospective exhibition in the United States in thirty years, brings together a selection of 60 artworks representative of his signature themes including scenes of daily life, portraits of loved ones, serene landscapes, and large-scale abstractions. Organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the exhibition will tour internationally. The Wadsworth is the only venue in New England and is a significant homecoming for Avery who grew up outside Hartford, took his first art classes here, and essentially learned to become an artist by exploring Connecticut.

His imaginative palette, often described as “poetic,” earned him great acclaim as one of the great 20th-century colorists. His color sensibility and balance of form influenced a younger generation of artists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Adolph Gottlieb, who he befriended and mentored. In Rothko’s words, Avery celebrated the world around him with a poetry that “penetrated every pore of the canvas to the very last touch of the brush.”

Milton Avery is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue available in the Museum Shop.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

March 3 | Docent Memorial Lecture with Edith Devaney
March 3 & 4 | Member Preview Days
March 4 & 5 | Member-Only Curator Tours
April 9 | Second Saturdays for Families: Poetic Paintings
April 29 | Curator Talk
May 17 | Virtual Program: In Milton’s Footsteps
May 22 | Sunday Serenades: Modernist Creations

TOURS

Space is limited and reservations are required via thewadsworth.org/events. The Milton Avery Mobile Tour is accessible from any location on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Connecticut Originals
Thursdays–Sundays, 12:30pm

Milton Avery
Thursdays–Sundays, 2:30pm

WAYS TO ENGAGE

Color Find and Seek
Match up colorful prompt cards to paintings you discover in the gallery

Join the Felted Fun!
Milton Avery’s signature paintings are a lively visual blend of interlocking colors and forms that represent people and places. Inspired by his style, we’ve started a moveable world made entirely of felt…and you’re invited to contribute!

Connect with Color: Milton Avery Mobile Guide
Captivated by colors? Enjoy an audio tour of speakers exploring the power of color in Milton Avery’s artwork.

Month with Milton Challenge
Participate in this challenge by drawing every day for a month straight. Sign up at the Information Desks—free sketchbooks available.

IN THE NEWS

Click here for press coverage of Milton Avery

“SWEEPING RETROSPECTIVE…HITS THE SWEET SPOT”
Susan Rand Brown, Art New England

“A HOMECOMING”
John Dorfman, Art & Antiques

“DEMANDS IN-PERSON VIEWING”
Jessica Skwire Routhier, Antiques and the Arts Weekly

“THE PAINTINGS FEEL TIMELY BECAUSE THEIR CONCERNS ARE TIMELESS”
Andrew L. Shea, The Spectator

“THE HARTFORD SHOW…IS A TREAT. LOANS FROM MAJOR MUSEUMS ARE FLESHED OUT WITH RARELY SEEN PAINTINGS”
Sebastian Smee, The Washington Post

Exhibition organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation Inc., The Saunders Foundation, and the Estate of James Lyon.

Exhibition curated by Edith Devaney at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Andrea Karnes at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Erin Monroe at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Sustaining support for the Wadsworth Atheneum provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign, and the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Images: Left: Husband and Wife, 1945. Oil on canvas. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger. 1955.142. © 2021 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Right: Boathouse by the Sea, 1959. Oil on canvas.  © 2021 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2020. Courtesy Victoria Miro and Waqas Wajahat.