Published: October 6, 2020
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – What was described as a meaningful work by Milton Avery (American, 1885-1965), “Birds Over Sea,” 1957, winged above its $800,000-$1.2 million estimate to realize $1,722,000, including buyer’s premium, at Brunk Auctions’ Premier auction conducted in two sessions October 2-3. “I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, colors, form a set of unique relationships independent of any subject matter,” said the artist. “At the same time I try to capture and translate the excitement and emotion aroused in me by the impact with the original idea.” “Birds Over Sea” is the embodiment of Avery’s mature period. The subtle color harmonies are those he favored. On view is the tremendous sense of order, color and space that occurs from his many years of exploring paint, brush and its effects on canvas. Painted to arrive at a simple but powerfully controlled composition, it is simultaneously flattened yet gives an expansive sense of space. Copious catalog notes for the lot illustrate “a moment on the beach at Provincetown has become a ‘poem’ where his love of nature is fully expressed.” Titled, dated and signed verso canvas, the oil on canvas measured 56 by 42 inches and was presented in a parcel white gold leaf frame, 59 by 44¾ inches. For information, www.brunkauctions.com or 828-254-6846.
Watch for a full postsale report later.
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