Sea paintings we Love: Milton Avery's Sea Grasses and Blue Sea

 Milton Avery 'Sea Grasses and Blue Sea'  1958 oil on canvas

The abstract coastal landscape painting 'Sea Grasses and Blue Sea' above is by American painter and printmaker Milton Avery (1885-1965). It's flat, bold, simplicity of colour and shape- almost like a flag- is joyful symbol of the freshness and crispness of a sunny day at the beach.

The shimmering's there. The shifting's there. The dynamic rise and fall is there. But all contained by that rigid horizon line and the almost equal sized trapezoid shapes which evoke both the wave, the sail and also perhaps undersea mountains and the shifting tectonic plates of the earth.

He developed a style that for some people was either not naturalistic enough or not abstract enough. But what's wrong with hovering between dimensions? Though nature was always his starting point.

You read what critics say about him and they all talk about him like he's a poor mans Matisse. What about morphic resonance? Sometimes people can just be similar and resonate to the same universal ideas that are floating around waiting for a sensitive soul to pick them up and run with them. These ideas are for everybody.

Here's what painter Mark Rothko said about him
What was Avery's repertoire? His living room, Central park, his wife Sally, his daughter March, the beaches and mountains where they summered; cows, fish heads, the flight of birds; his friends and whatever world strayed through his studio: a domestic, unheroic cast. But from these there have been fashioned great canvases, that far from the casual and transitory implications of the subjects, have always a gripping lyricism, and often achieve the permanence and monumentality of Egypt.

Milton Avery (1885-1965) American painter and printmaker. 



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