Milton Avery (1893-1965)

Dawn  1952, Woodcut.

Lunn 40. Edition 15 in black ink; an edition of 100 in black and yellow was published by the Collectors of American Art. Signed, dated and numbered 12/15 in pencil.

Image size 7 1/8 x 9 inches (181 x 229 mm); sheet size 8 7/8 x 14 inches (4225x 356 mm).

A fine, painterly impression, in black ink, on off-white wove Japan, with full margins (5/8 to 2 1/2 inches). Restored minor loss in the top center sheet edge, well away from the image, otherwise in excellent condition. An impression from the scarce first edition, printed by the artist.

Dawn was the first of 21 wonderfully expressive and highly individualistic woodcuts which Avery produced between 1952 and 1955. Avery cut his woodcuts himself, and printed them himself, inking the wood and then rubbing a sheet of paper against it, probably with the help of something like the back of a spoon. Each impression had to be made by hand, individually, and so the impressions vary – Avery was not concerned with uniformity, indeed he disdained it.  Frequently he made an effort to use the grain of the wood itself, and even imitated it with knife cuts; this effect, however subtle, can be seen in this impression of Dawn.