Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Milton Avery ~ More Portraits and Self Portraits
Annette Kaufman whose portrait is our feature of the week here at Fifty Two Pieces is still alive and living in the Los Angeles area in a home designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright. Reportedly the first thing you see when you open the door is one of Milton Avery's many portraits of her husband Louis - Red Suspenders on White Shirt. I love the red in those suspenders and the lips, those lips are to die for. The use of that unusual coloring under Kaufman's eyes is quite striking. Browsing around the internet I found the image below. It's entitled Portrait of Louis M. Eilshemius and was painted in 1942. Eilshemius was a rather eccentric artist and certainly seems as such in Avery's portrait. If Hollywood were to make a movie of Eilshemius' life, I think the perfect actor to play the role would be Bill Murray.
Amy had two self portraits by Milton Avery on her Friday post. The more sedate one showing Avery with a hat was done in 1930. The other with haunting wide eyes and bright red lips was painted in 1944. A great deal must have transpired in those fourteen years. As can be seen in the self portrait below, the process had already started in 1939. Those blue eyes are chilling and the red ears –– the only time I've seen ears that red is when someone is running a high fever. The red stripes in that shirt could well be pajamas.
And in 1950, he created this triangular version of himself -- almost sedate by comparison with the painting from 1939 and the one the other day from 1944.