Portrait of Dave Winfield
20 x 14 inches, acrylic on stretched canvas
Armenian-American artist, Avedisian was best known for his work made in New York City during the 1960s: brilliantly colored, boldly composed canvases that combined Minimalism’s rigor, Pop’s exuberance and the saturated tones of Color Field painting. He was largely recognized for a series of Beach Ball paintings that emerged in the early 1960's and into the later 1960's the artist began painting larger horizontal paintings, featuring vertically intersecting beacon-like stripes that highlighted characteristics from both the Post-Painterly and Color Field movements.
In this portrait, Avedisian using his signature use of color, combining bright rusty reds and oranges against a metallic green gold backdrop.
A major work from Avedesian's color-stripe series was featured on the cover of Artforum's January 1969 issue (pictured here). Also pictured are photographs of the artist c. 1970 in his studio in New York City and catalog pages from Avedisian's inclusion in the American Painting Now Expo at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA in Dec 1967 - Jan 1968. The exhibition, organized by art critic Alan Solomon, featured one of Avedisian's signature Beach Ball paintings alongside large works by Robert Motherwell and Jim Rosenquist.
About the subject:
Dave Winifield is American former Major League Baseball right fielder born in 1951 and who played for six teams (San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, and Cleveland Indians) during his 22 year long career. He had the winning hit in the 1992 World Series with the Blue Jays over the Atlanta Braves. Winfield retired in 1996 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, in his first year of eligibility.
About the Artist:
In the 1960’s, Edward Avedisian was one of the youngest of those luminaries producing a grand new abstract painting. Shown first at Ivan Karp and Dick Bellamy’s Hansa Gallery and then at Robert Elkon, Avedisian’s insouciant mix of pop playfulness, color field cool and high formalist style put his art in a unique, and at the time generously rewarded, position. Paintings made it onto the cover of Artforum, were purchased by all the major museums, were among the few abstract works shown as representative of America’s post-war achievement at Expo 67 in Montreal and comprised a cornerstone in histories of the period written by Barbara Rose, among others. The artist was largely influenced by his Color-Field predecessors, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Throughout the 1960's and into the mid 1970's the artist was celebrated in the Manhattan art scene, contributing to the Post-Painterly Abstraction movements with contemporaries Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, Jules Olitski, and Larry Poons.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Chrysler Art Museum, Norfolk, Virginia
Denver Art Museum, Colorado
Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan
Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas
The Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts
Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York, Purchase
Los Angeles County Museum, California
Neuberger Museum, SUNY, Purchase, New York
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
*above description text is supported by Alexandra C. Anderson's article on Edward Avedesian in Artforum's January 1969 issue.
NY Times Obituary, published Aug 23, 2007 by Roberta Smith:
Mr. Avedisian was best known for his work in the 1960s: brilliantly colored, boldly composed canvases that combined Minimalism’s rigor, Pop’s exuberance and the saturated tones of Color Field painting.
A frequent motif was a cluster of bright seedlike orbs corralled at the center of a vibrant monochrome field by larger rings of color, creating an image that could resemble a buoyant cross-section of some unknown fruit.
Mr. Avedisian was born in Lowell, Mass., in 1936 and studied art at the Boston Museum School. By the late 1950s he was living in New York, part of a generation of promising young painters that included Frank Stella, Larry Poons and Darby Bannard.
From 1958 to 1963 Mr. Avedisian had six solo shows in New York galleries, including two at the Robert Elkon Gallery, where he continued to show almost every year until 1975. By the early 1960s Mr. Avedisian was a rising star. During that decade, his work appeared on the cover of Artforum, in “The Responsive Eye” exhibition of Op Art at the Museum of Modern Art and in four annuals at the Whitney Museum of American Art. His paintings were widely sought by collectors and acquired by major museums in New York and elsewhere.
In the mid-1970s Mr. Avedisian moved to Hudson and became less visible. His paintings soon began shifting toward representation; he took to calling his abstract paintings “a period style.” But he continued to be well served by his feeling for color, scale and surface. His landscapes described his surroundings in blunt, flat shapes and singing hues reminiscent of those of Marsden Hartley and Paula Modersohn-Becker, but also had an undeniably contemporary verve. In the 1980s he also made bright abstract sculptures from painted Styrofoam.