Nude with Guitar

  • Milton Avery, Nude with Guitar, 1947, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Louis and Annette Kaufman, 1977.43.1

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

Title
Nude with Guitar
Artist
Date
1947
Location
Dimensions
42 x 30 in. (106.7 x 76.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Louis and Annette Kaufman

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure – nude
Object Number
1977.43.1
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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