Lot # 043
Fall 2017 - 1st Session Live auction

Milton Avery
1893 - 1965 American

Dark Waters
watercolour and graphite on paper
signed and dated 1945 and on verso titled and inscribed "A2027"
22 1/2 x 30 3/4 in  57.2 x 78.1cm

Provenance:
Waddington Galleries, London, England, 1970
Collection of James and Elizabeth Eayrs, Toronto, April 2, 1970

The sea was one of Milton Avery’s constant motifs, whether depicted as a calm expanse of colour or more dramatically textured and vibrant, as in this example. Subtle though the greenery in this watercolour is, the rest of the image uses this delicate medium to portray natural phenomena in their boldness. The “dark waters” of the title are interpreted by strongly gestural lozenge-shaped marks in the expansive foreground. Across a hint of sand that forms an isthmus in the middle of the work, we see a more distant stretch of dark blue water. Powerful zigzags in the otherwise white expanses to the left and right of the foreground water suggest a rocky basin and shoreline. The overall dynamism of this elemental scene could be said to preview the remarkable Phenomenascapes of Canadian painter Paterson Ewen (1925 - 2002), who also moved towards abstract notation while in the thrall of nature’s forces.
We thank the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation for confirming their positive opinion of this work. A document from the foundation will accompany this lot.

Estimate: $25,000 ~ $35,000 CAD  
Sold for: $31,250 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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