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Karla & Nicholas

Karla & Nicholas, 1963, Oil on Canvas
March Avery (American, born 1932)

March Avery is a contemporary American painter who lives and works in New York. She is the daughter of painter Milton Avery and illustrator Sally Avery. Because of her father's success as a painter, March Avery grew up around many artists, including Mark Rothko, Adolf Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, and Marsden Hartley. Although she graduated from Barnard College with a degree in philosophy, her lifelong connection to the art world led Avery to pursue a career in the arts. Avery learned to paint from both her father and mother, but she did not study art formally. The influence of her parents, especially her father, is evident in her work, as she, like him, portrays the subjects of her paintings in simple, almost abstract modes.

This painting is illustrative of March Avery’s style and interest, and shows her engagement with imagery taken from life. It shows a pair of figures—a woman and young boy—sitting in what appears to be comfortable intimacy, the woman looking down upon the child who fills the bottom of the frame. Painted in blocks of vibrant colors, the scene suggests a tender moment between a mother and son. The visible brushwork adds a painterly texture to the picture while the flattened shapes of the composition frame the scene with a satisfying sense of geometry.