Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Checker Players

Accession Number
1962/2.5

Title
Checker Players

Artist(s)
Milton Avery

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1939

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

Dimensions
30 1/16 in x 40 ¼ in (76.36 cm x 102.24 cm);36 ⅝ in x 46 11/16 in x 1 ¾ in (93.03 cm x 118.59 cm x 4.45 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger

Label copy
A self-taught painter, Milton Avery is an important late twentieth-century American colorist. Mark Rothko (1903–1970), a painter whose own work with intense color often glows with an almost mystical luminosity, has lauded Avery as a "a poet of sheer beauty." Avery favored the sophisticated use of decorative color in the works of Henri Matisse (1869–1954), and especially admired the pure colors and jarring complexities of the French artist’s figure painting. Like Matisse, Avery chose to eliminate representational detail in order to find a simplicity of form that would emphasize his original exploration of color. His use of familiar figures (often his family members or visitors to his studio) gave him the freedom to concentrate on creating powerful expressions of mood and atmosphere.
In "Checker Players," strong colors and careless shapes are pushed forward and clutter the front of the picture plane. Avery’s depiction of a tranquil, even somber, mood is less about how the players looked than how the artist felt. As Matisse wrote in 1908, "Composition is the art of making a decorative arrangement of the elements from which the painter can choose to express his feelings."
(A. Dixon, 20th Century Gallery installation, June 1999)

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
figure painting

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Figures
couches (reclining furniture)
interiors
modern and contemporary art
seated

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved