Birds and Sea

Milton Avery American

Not on view

Beaches and birds were some of Avery’s favorite imagery in the woodcuts he made between 1952 and 1955, years spent recovering from a severe heart attack. After learning the technique from the artist Stephen Pace, Avery printed his own impressions by both hand rubbing and pressing a large spoon against the sheet. Traces of this process can be seen in the ghostly marks and varying deposits of ink across Birds and Sea. For an artist who identified primarily as a painter, Avery viewed woodcut’s direct, physical quality as one of its central virtues. He stopped printing in this method when it proved too strenuous for his fragile health.

Birds and Sea, Milton Avery (American, Altmar, New York 1885–1965 New York), Woodcut

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