Art Observed: March Avery at Blum & Poe through January 9th, 2021

January 7, 2021

C. Rhinehardt

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March Avery at Blum & Poe through January 9th, 2021
By: C. Rhinehardt

Currently on view at Blum & Poe’s Los Angeles exhibition space, the New York-based artist March Avery is presenting a solo exhibition of works spanning forty years of practice, following up on the recent announcement of the artist’s addition to the gallery’s roster, and marking her first show with the gallery in its spacious Los Angeles home.

The exhibition unites a range of Avery’s oil paintings, sketches, and watercolors, a body of interrelated projects that showcase her ability to capture the poetry of daily life with emotion and immediacy, breaking down forms and figures into essential blocks of color and subtle inflections of movement and emotion. Avery decomposes a moment into its essential elements—shape, space, and color come together in unorthodox ways to form unique and evocative compositions that push the boundaries of the paper and the canvas.  Flat and cool in rendering, the pieces manage to distill moments rich in expressive capacity and emotional resonance with a minimum of lines and details. Neither fully abstract nor precisely figurative, these works are not easily categorized within the denominations of art history.

Throughout the show, domestic scenes and recurring figures dart in and out of the show, showcasing the artist’s dedication to the personal and the familial, ultimately infusing her home life with a nuanced and kaleidoscopic relationship to both her work and her subjects.  These are pieces that capture the passage of time and the full arc of a life, tracing changing seasons and the entrance or exit of its actors.  The striking 1972 oil on canvas work, “Father + Son,” depicts a mustached man dressed in shades of green holding his son in his arms. The color of his blue skin bleeds into the infant’s clothes and baby blue eyes—blurring the line between their singularities. As they face towards the viewer, the cat on the father’s lap turns its back in a feline manner of protest.

Spanning years of work, Avery’s pieces here offer an engaged look at her relentless drive as an artist, and her tireless documentation of the spaces she works within and around.  Turning her life and her sitters into a grand orchestration of color and form, the artist, and her work presented here is offered ample time and space to let these intimate moments speak volumes.

The show closes January 9th.

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Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo will be closed for the summer from August 14 through August 28.