Milton Avery's Dancer
A Modernist Sensibility
Painter/printmaker Milton Avery (1885–1965) came to the MacDowell Colony in 1953–1954 and again in 1956. He made this charming image of a dancer when the Abstract Expressionist movement was in full swing. Though he flirts with abstraction in the simplified forms and broad linear composition of this work, Avery retained the recognizable figure. First carved into a wood block before being inked and printed on paper, the image has a dimensional, sculptural quality. The artist further emphasizes the physicality of the wood with his own incised lines, echoing the grain pattern.