los-angeles

Milton Avery

Felix Landau Gallery

The figure and landscape have occupied Avery’s unsophisticated but complete devotion for more than 40 years. Shown were recent canvases (1962–3) and a half dozen from pre-1945; in effect, a capsulated retrospective. His contemplative distillations, as ever, exhibit constant characteristic tense placement, edited simplification, and a contracting limitation of sensuousness. His space is a compressed one, about the center of which movement ricochets along abrupt perspective and exaggerated scale changes. Tipped axes are pinned in permanent, empathically active suspension. The leaning woman of “Yellow Skirt,” the upward climbing “Orchard and Mountain” and the diagonal opening behind the “Visitor” best exemplify his sure, brisk moves.

Dependent to a major degree upon graphic solutions, sitters’ features and details are picked out awkwardly with a splayed brush line. And this, accompanying the

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