Milton Avery (1885-1965) was born in Altmar, New York and studied in Hartford at the Connecticut League of Art Students before settling in New York City in 1925. During his adolescence, Avery began his artistic journey in which he painted on a daily basis; this habit only ceased after a heart attack. Avery was mostly autodidactic in the way he acquired his skills; his work gravitated towards the combination of abstraction and realism. The work suggests ongoing interactions between line, shape, muted color, and hushed emotions. A majority of the subjects in his work were figure studies or marine scenes.
1944 was a point of inflection for Avery; he had a new gallery association with Paul Rosenberg in New York. Rosenberg had escaped to New York from Europe with both a strong interest and inventory of progressive paintings, which he wanted to embellish. Rosenberg agreed to buy twenty-five of Avery’s paintings twice a year, which meant that Avery did not have to worry about money and could focus on being creative.
With his newfound freedom, he produced more art at a swifter pace. His style experienced changes as well - the initial brushy approach became denser with more areas of flattened color.