b. 1932, USA

March Avery Biography

'I knew I would be a painter. It never occurred to me that I would do anything else.'

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March Avery was born in New York in 1932 to painters Milton Avery and Sally Michel. Guided by her famous father, she began painting as a child—although as she would tell it, 'I think I was painting in utero.' She had her first solo exhibition in 1963. Now in her late eighties, the artist continues to work six days a week in her lifelong neighbourhood, Greenwich Village.

Avery's oil paintings, sketches, and watercolours carry forward certain stylistic characteristics of the family oeuvre, what art historian Robert Hobbs has called the 'Avery style'—flat picture planes, interlocking shapes, and a simplicity of forms—while distinguishing her output as all her own. Raised with the dividing line between life and art blurred, such is the subject matter of her work: quotidian domestic scenes, portraits of friends and family members, and landscapes visited and revisited over the course of a lifetime.

The artist's mastery of colour brings life, immediacy of place, and emotional depth to her compositions. The striking 1985 oil on canvas work, Ruth in a Sling Chair, casts her sitter in shades of greens in an angular blazer of pink plaid. Lounging in a vermillion sculptural egg chair, the subject's skin radiates in robin's egg blue. A watercolour and gouache from 2009, Dead Sea, depicts bathers in an expanding pool of lilac waters, brushy swaths exposing sections of the white paper substrate below that transform into ripples of the sea's surface. With the same intentionally non-heroic approach, the painting Town by the Nile (2009) explores the beauty of the landscape through its essential forms, with simplified gestures in soft hues.

Avery's depictions of these modest moments in life that carry life's missives of deepest meaning are deliberately visually accessible, hovering in a space that is not overtly abstract nor distinctly figurative. Nature's grandeur and the delicate emotions of human intimacy are rendered with an expert ability to collapse complex experiences and three-dimensional spaces into flattened topographies comprised of evocative shapes and forms.

March Avery (b. New York, NY, 1932) lives and works in New York. Her work is represented in public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfalk, VA; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages, Stony Brook, NY; Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Woodstock Artists Association & Museum, Woodstock, NY; among others.

Text courtesy Blum & Poe.

Exhibition view: March Avery, The Family, Blum & Poe, Tokyo (16 July–10 September 2022). © March Avery. Courtesy the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo Photo: SAIKI.

March Avery Featured Artworks

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Karla and Nicholas by March Avery contemporary artwork painting
March Avery Karla and Nicholas, 1960 Oil on canvas
71.4 x 106.7 x 2.2 cm
Blum & Poe
Quiet Pleasure by March Avery contemporary artwork painting
March Avery Quiet Pleasure, 1970 Oil on canvas
107 x 127 x 1.9 cm
Blum & Poe
The Family by March Avery contemporary artwork painting
March Avery The Family, 1970 Oil on canvas
92.1 x 126.7 x 2.2 cm
Blum & Poe
Black Stockings by March Avery contemporary artwork painting
March Avery Black Stockings, 1964 Oil on canvas
92.1 x 106.7 x 1.9 cm
Blum & Poe
Virginia Spring by March Avery contemporary artwork painting
March Avery Virginia Spring, 1973 Oil on canvas
101.6 x 127.3 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
Floating Salesmen by March Avery contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
March Avery Floating Salesmen, 2006 Oil on canvas
48 x 56 x 1 1/4 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
Tall Pines II by March Avery contemporary artwork painting
March Avery Tall Pines II, 2017 Oil on canvas
60 x 36 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
St. Tropez Backstreet by March Avery contemporary artwork painting
March Avery St. Tropez Backstreet, 2003 Watercolour on paper
76.2 x 55.9 cm
Blum & Poe

March Avery Current & Recent Exhibitions

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March Avery Represented By

Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan
Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo

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