Arshile Gorky is known as a pioneer of this new abstract painting that developed in New York after World War II. Born Vosdanik Adoian in the village of Khorkom, Armenia, Gorky's idyllic childhood was cut short by the Turkish invasion of Armenia and its ensuing ethnic persecution. Gorky's dad and other relatives had fled to America before; the boy lived with his mother and sister as refugees in Russian-occupied territory. A year later, at sixteen, Gorky emigrated to the USA. His was an enormous journey, geographically and culturally, which would leave the artist using a permanent longing for the gardens, orchards, and wheat areas of his rural homeland.
Gorky lived in New England from 1920 to 1924 and between 1922 and 1924 attended the New School of Design in Boston. By 1926 he had moved into New York City, where over the next decade he taught painting, fulfilled other adventuresome artists, joined the Federal Arts Project, and exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art.
Arshile Gorky's contributions to American and world art are hard to overestimate. His job as a lyrical abstraction was a"new language. He has lit the way for two generations of American artists. The artistic spontaneity of previous works like 1 Year the Milkweed (1944), and The Betrothal II (1947), The Liver is the Cock's Comb (1944), instantly prefigured Abstract expressionism, and leaders at the New York School have confessed Gorky's significant influence.
In New York, he studied contemporary European art, and his work of the 1930s reveals the effect of such artists as Cézanne, Miro, Pablo Picasso, Braque, Léger, and many others. From the early 1940s, through the rediscovery of the American countryside and assimilation of surrealism, Gorky had found his leadership. For the next seven decades, until his death at age forty-four, he painted highly original abstractions that unite memories of his Armenian youth with surrealist fantasies in functions characterized by billowing shapes and exotic colours.
As it defined his adolescent years, tragedy formed the conclusion of Gorky's life. A fire in his Connecticut studio ruined over thirty of his works. Following an operation for cancer and a debilitating car crash, he had been abandoned by his wife and two kids.