Milton Clark Avery was an influential American modern painter born in 1885. His unique vision of the American scene went beyond stylistic trends and focused on color relations and abstracted forms. Avery’s work is vital to American abstract painting, and his contributions have greatly influenced the art world.
In 1958, Avery painted Dark Forest, where he used thinned oil paint and visible brushwork to create a flattened effect. The painting portrays a patchy forest landscape that is emblematic of the artist’s mature style. Dark Forest belongs to Avery’s land and shorescapes collection, which features several paintings inspired by his surroundings.
The use of vibrant colors sets this artwork apart from Avery’s contemporaries’ works who focused on more somber tones in their landscapes. With its bright hues layered next to one another with minimal blending, Dark Forest creates a sense of contrast within its frame while also conveying movement in the trees’ trunks beneath them. Through its bold use of color, Dark Forest represents common themes found across much of Avery’s oeuvre: a focus on nature as both subject matter and inspiration for exploring color relationships at play between artistic representations thereof.