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Milton Avery in Black and White: Drawings 1929-59

DATES September 28, 1990 through 1990 (date unknown)
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT Contemporary Art
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
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  • June 1, 1990 The first major museum exhibition of drawings by Milton Avery (1885-1965) will contain more than 80 works in pencil, ink and lithographic crayon executed between 1929 and 1959. Entitled Milton Avery in Black and White, it is scheduled to open at The Brooklyn Museum on September 27, where it will remain on view in the second floor print gallery through December 31, 1990.

    This exhibition is made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Milton and Sally Avery Art Foundation; the Grace Borgenicht Gallery; the Marianne Friedland Gallery; Leon Black; and Margarete Schultz.

    Milton Avery did not receive wide recognition for his work until after his death, and then primarily for his paintings and his brilliant and innovative use of color. Yet, for him, drawing was a daily activity. According to his widow Sally, “Drawing was as natural as breathing.” He began each day drawing at the breakfast table before he had his morning coffee.

    The exhibition has been selected by Linda Konheim Kramer, Curator of Prints and Drawings, from numerous private collections in the Northeast. A sizable group lent from the collections of the Averys has not previously been shown.

    The drawings fall into a number of categories. They include self portraits, as well as drawings of his wife, daughter, and friends, studies of the nude, landscapes, and animals.

    Mrs. Kramer has also prepared the accompanying 80 page, fully illustrated catalogue. She writes, “The drawings were an integral part of Avery’s oeuvre. They stand on their own as finished works, whether ultimately used for a painting or not. They are more than merely the subjects he resolved in his paintings. In them he worked out on a personal and instinctive level the ideas about technique and style that became intellectualized and polished in his canvases.”

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 04-06/1990, 099-100.
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