American Art

American Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. Dark Mountain.

Milton Avery

Dark Mountain

Auction Closed

November 22, 10:23 PM GMT


500,000 - 700,000 USD

Lot Details


Milton Avery

1885 - 1965

Dark Mountain

signed Milton Avery and dated 1963 (lower left); also bears inscription (on the reverse)

oil on canvas 

canvas: 40 by 50 inches (101.6 by 127 cm)

framed: 42 ¼ by 52 inches (107.3 by 132.1 cm)

This lot is accompanied by a letter of opinion from the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, New York. 

Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Inc., New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Milton Avery painted Dark Mountain in 1963 in Woodstock, New York, the bucolic arts colony that the Avery family visited frequently beginning in the late 1930s. The semi-abstract landscape depicts Cooper Lake and is emblematic of the artist’s mature style. In its reductive palette of tonal color, Dark Mountain presages the works of such iconic painters as Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, and the proponents of the Color Field movement, who would go on to fully push Avery’s ideas fully into the non-objective. Today, Avery is considered among the earliest practitioners of chromatic abstraction. In a commemorative essay addressing the impact of Avery’s influential body of work, Rothko concluded: “There have been several others in our generation who have celebrated the world around them, but none with that inevitability where the poetry penetrated every pore of the canvas to the very last touch of the brush. For Avery was a great poet-inventor who had invented sonorities never seen nor heard before. From these, we have learned much and will learn more for a long time to come” (as quoted in Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, Milton Avery, Washington, D.C., 1969, n.p.).