Ales Ortuzar: I’m Ales Ortuzar, I work at David Zwirner Gallery and this year we are presenting work by Milton Avery and the works are from the 1930’s. Avery was a struggling artist, he wasn’t selling huge amount of work so he couldn’t afford live models. A lot of his works were done in musicals and circuses and he would go there to sketch the crowd, the dancers, people assembling there. And this painting here we can see the chorus of lined up dancing girls. We suspect that these three works were done in a same theatre which is in New York City.
These paintings in particularly based on a circus. The ladies had applied lipstick and they are sitting there and looking rather benignly and there is a mischievous quality to this painting. He was painting over old painting and this painting in particular, we believe that there was maybe a landscape underneath it.
This is a remarkable painting, the angle is very unusual, because what you can see from here is the top of somebodies head and this person is looking up to the trapeze artist and it has a surreal quality to it.
He was certainly looking at what was happening in Europe at the time but I feel that these do have a distinctly American feel to them. These works all come from the state of Milton Avery, so they’ve been with the family since they were painted, so it’s really a premiere, first time these works are shown. We wanted to show sides of Avery that’s unusual, people think of the seascapes and the landscapes of the 50’s and 60’s and this is something different.
This video interview and article © galleryIntell. Artwork © Milton Avery Trust. Images courtesy of the David Zwirner Gallery and Milton Avery Trust.
*”Husband & Wife” and “Autumn 2” have been included to depict Milton Avery’s recognized style. They are not at the current David Zwirner Gallery exhibition at The Art Show.