Nude with Guitar

image for Nude with Guitar
Luce Center Label
Milton Avery was often dismissed as a naive painter because he did not seem as sophisticated as the elite abstract expressionists who took the stage after World War II. Avery borrowed this figure's pose from Picasso, and, in fact, Nude with Guitar reflects Avery’s knowledge of modern literature as well as painting. He was fond of Wallace Stevens's 1937 poem "The Man with the Blue Guitar," based on Picasso's famous Blue Period image. The poem praised the power of art to transform everyday moments into transcendent experiences, and the guitar became Avery's personal symbol of this power, appearing in many of his canvases (Hobbs, Milton Avery, 1990).
Luce Object Quote
"I am not seeking pure abstraction; rather the purity and essence of the idea expressed in its simplest form." The artist, quoted in Hobbs, Milton Avery, 1990
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 42A
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor
1947
Object number
1977.43.1
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Louis and Annette Kaufman
Artist
Milton Avery, born Sand Bank, NY 1885-died New York City 1965
Topic
Figure\full length
Figure\nude
Performing arts\music\guitar
Object\furniture\chair
Object\other\container
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
42 x 30 in. (106.7 x 76.2 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Type
Painting