Edith Devaney

Milton Avery, Breaking Wave, 1959

Milton Avery
Breaking Wave, 1959
Oil on canvas, 81.28 x 106.68 cm
Private collection
Photo: Adam Reich
© 2021 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • November 2, 2021 7:00 PM


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Avery’s juxtaposing of colour planes creates a cohesion in his compositions, affording them a sense of resolution, serenity and beauty. Edith Devaney, “Milton Avery—Color into Form,” in Milton Avery, Victoria Miro gallery, 2017

Edith Devaney, formerly the modern and contemporary curator at the Royal Academy of Arts and the curator of the major retrospective at the Modern Milton Avery, presents “Milton Avery: An Introduction.” In an earlier essay on the artist, Devaney pointed out, “The development of Avery’s sophisticated and profound understanding of colour can be traced across his career, culminating in the late paintings’ remarkable ability to employ colour to give coherence to form, intimate perspective and evoke mood.” Previewing aspects of the Modern’s exhibition, which opens to the public November 7, Devaney sheds light on the trajectory of Avery’s career and his place in American modern art.

Edith Devaney has recently taken up the newly created position of Managing Director and Curator for David Hockney Inc. and the David Hockney Foundation. Until January 2021, she was the modern and contemporary curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, where she curated exhibitions including David Hockney: A Bigger Picture in 2012, Abstract Expressionism in 2016, and Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth in 2017. Recent exhibitions also include Arshile Gorky: 1904–1948 in 2019 at Ca Pesaro Museum in Venice. She curated the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition for twenty years and has written extensively on art.

This popular series of lectures and presentations by artists, architects, historians, and critics is free and open to the public. Lectures begin at 7 pm in the Modern’s auditorium. Seating is at 6:30 pm. A livestream broadcast of the lecture will be available here.

A limited number of tickets (limit two per person) will be available for purchase ($5) from 10 am until 4 pm the day of the lecture online. Free admission tickets (limit two per person) are available at the Modern’s information desk beginning at 5 pm on the day of the lecture. 

On Tuesday nights during the lecture series, the galleries are open until 7 pm and Café Modern’s bar is open (no food service available.) Lectures will not be broadcast into the café this season.

Following CDC recommendations, face masks or cloth face coverings are required for entry to the museum for visitors over the age of 2. This includes in the auditorium and in Café Modern when not at your table or consuming food and beverages. 


Podcasts of these lectures are available at www.themodern.org/podcasts, two weeks after the presentation date.
Video recordings of the lectures are available on the Modern's YouTube channel.

Promotional support is generously provided by Glasstire.