Against the Stream: Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb, and Mark Rothko in the 1930s
This exhibition explored the relationship between Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb (1903–1974), and Milton Avery (1885–1965), who met in New York in the late 1920s, during a time when they all exhibited at the Opportunity Gallery. The show focused on a formative period in the 1930s when the trio frequently worked alongside one another, whether depicting urban or domestic scenes, sporting events, moments of recreation, or nudes at Avery’s studio, where for a time they gathered weekly. The selection of works illustrated parallels among the three artists in their approaches to figural and genre scenes. The installation included 15 paintings and 9 drawings by Rothko, with all but one of these works lent by the National Gallery of Art. A number of the Rothkos had never previously been exhibited, while others had not been shown since the 1930s. Among the graphite drawings on view were sketches by Rothko believed to depict Avery and Gottlieb. Against the Stream: Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb, and Mark Rothko in the 1930s was guest curated by Jill Snyder.