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Arshile Gorky Virtosu Art Gallery

Arshile Gorky Abstract artist Bio

Arshile Gorky his life and work

Arshile Gorky is recognized as a pioneer of the 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 father and other relatives had fled to America earlier; the boy lived with his mother and sister as refugees in Russian-occupied territory. In 1919 his mother died of starvation. A year later, at sixteen, Gorky emigrated to the United States. His was a huge journey, geographically and culturally, which would leave the artist with a permanent longing for the gardens, orchards, and wheat fields of his rural homeland.

From 1920 to 1924 Gorky lived in New England and between 1922 and 1924 attended the New School of Design in Boston. By 1926 he had moved to New York City, where over the next decade he taught painting, met other avant-garde artists, joined the Federal Arts Project, and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art.

Arshile Gorky art

Arshile Gorky's contributions to American and world art are difficult to overestimate. His work as lyrical abstraction was a "new language. He "lit the way for two generations of American artists". The painterly spontaneity of mature works like The Liver is the Cock's Comb (1944), One Year the Milkweed (1944), and The Betrothal II (1947) immediately prefigured Abstract expressionism, and leaders in the New York School have acknowledged Gorky's considerable influence.

“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes.” - Arshile Gorky
In New York he studied modern European art, and his work of the 1930s shows the influence of such artists as Cézanne, Miro, Picasso, Braque, Léger, and others. By the early 1940s, through rediscovery of the American countryside and assimilation of surrealism, Gorky had found his own direction. For the next seven years, until his death at the age of forty-four, he painted highly original abstractions that combine memories of his Armenian childhood with surrealist fantasies in works characterized by billowing shapes and exotic colors.
“I do not paint in front of but from within nature.” -Arshile Gorky
As it defined his teenage years, tragedy shaped the end of Gorky's life. A fire in his Connecticut studio destroyed more than thirty of his works. After an operation for cancer and a debilitating car crash, he was abandoned by his wife and two children. On 21 July 1948 Gorky committed suicide.

Arshile Gorky Artist statement

Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes....Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.

We are part of the world creation, and we ourselves create nothing. Our knowledge allows us to make use of all the forces already in existence, our art to interpret emotions already felt. One big war, an epidemic, and we collapse into ignorance and darkness, fit sons of chimpanzees.

Year After Year, Arshile Gorky

Year After Year  Arshile Gorky Virtosu Art Gallery

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