Arts / Museums

The Modern’s New Exhibitions Showcase a 20th Century Master and an Emerging Force

Milton Avery and Frances Stark are Spotlighted in Fort Worth

BY // 11.10.21

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is falling for the works of two special artists ― Milton Avery and Frances Stark. Both exhibitions debut this month. The Milton Avery exhibition is already open and on view through January 30. The Frances Stark show opens on November 19 and runs through January 9.

The Avery exhibition is the first major survey of a true 20th century American master. Avery (1885 to 1965) has long been recognized as one of the most influential American artists of his time. Portraits and landscapes are included in the compositions with his subjects taken from daily life. Avery played a vital role in the development of Abstract Expressionism, and was associated with artists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Adolph Gottlieb.

Milton Avery moves from impressionism to abstract. Fishing Village (1939)

Featuring approximately 70 works, dated from the 1910s to the mid-1960s, the exhibition opens with Avery’s works through the early 1940s. This reveals the influence of the American Impressionists and his longtime appreciation of the landscape.

The second chapter of the exhibit features Avery’s work from the mid- to late 1940s, when the artist’s focus began to shift to a greater concentration on form. Avery’s late work, from the 1950s through to the early 1960s, reveals the impact of modernists, particularly Henri Matisse, and shows increasingly more abstracted compositions.

“I have long been fascinated by Milton Avery’s remarkable work and the significant role he played in the development of American art in the 20th century,” says exhibition curator Edith Devaney of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. “This is a timely moment to celebrate his considerable achievement and continued influence.”

FOCUS: Frances Stark

The FOCUS series at the Modern Art Museum features three solo exhibitions each year. These began in 2005, and the series is committed to introducing visitors to emerging artists ― those who are gaining worldwide acclaim. Like Frances Stark.

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“Stark is an interdisciplinary artist and writer whose work comes in many forms, including painting, video, collage, performance and drawing. Works often reflect a particular subject she is engaged with, such as pedagogy, literature, relationships, art, music, sex, procrastination and motherhood,” a Modern release notes.

While these themes are of personal interest to Stark, she is often influenced by the different books she is reading. One prominent theme of this exhibition is that of censorship. Stark has said this series is “clearly a provocation painted in exaggeratedly broad strokes — an angry, exasperated, and only half tongue-in-cheek amplification of the anger and frustration of the culturally disenfranchised.”

The FOCUS series celebrates the works of Frances Stark. Censorship Now (2017).

Stark was born in 1967 in Southern California and lives and works in Los Angeles. FOCUS: Frances Stark is the artist’s first museum solo exhibition in Texas and it features new and recent work from the past five years.

“The overall work of the last five years addresses not only just the marking of books as a haptic experience and something that depicts the encountering of minds (reader and writer, artist and viewer), but also the culture of voyeurism that we have grown accustomed to as the media world has usurped so much of our cultural landscape,” Stark says.

FOCUS exhibitions are included in general museum admission.

Count these two thought-provoking exhibitions at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth as some of the things art lovers are most  thankful for this fall.

Connecting the inspired with the extraordinary

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