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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Arshile Gorky Retrospective Exhibition London

Arshile Gorky (c.1904-1948) was a seminal American painter who is  celebrated as the godfather of Abstract Expressionism. In his short career he bridged the gap between surrealism and what was later dubbed Abstract Expressionism, His unique  style was highly regarded by the younger generation of New York painters notably Pollock, Rothko, and de Kooning.
Gorky was born in Armenia he first arrived in the US in 1920 fleeing persecution and starvation in his home country. He adopted the name Arshile Gorky with reference to the Russian writer Maxim Gorky and settled in Boston with his stepsister, gaining exposure to the Modern European masters through books and galleries while attending art classes at the now defunct Boston School of Design.
In 1924 Gorky moved to New York. His early still-lives show his reliance upon popular examples of Cezanne, Picasso and Leger, however his portraits in the 1920s and 1930s, especially the two versions of The Artist and His Mother, show how Gorky was able to evoke his personal experiences and studies in realism, and apply it to canvas. Although he is still clearly paying homage to Picasso's rose period in these works, they are now stamped with his own identifiable traits. In 1942 Gorky began to interpret landscape. Energized by the Connecticut and Virginia countryside he created a series of Kandinsky inspired paintings and drawings using bright colour washes with black outlines. At this crossroad, Gorky began to clearly separate himself from his predecessors. He linked up with the Exiled surrealists Breton and Matta and pushed the boundaries of his work to new and original heights. Gorky’s troubled personal life was in constant conflict with his artistic accomplishments and he sadly took his own life in 1948 age 44.
The Tate exhibition includes paintings, drawings and also a few examples of rarely seen sculptures, spanning the extraordinary career of this great modern master.
Paul Carter Robinson Photo/Text ©ArtLyst

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective 10 February  – 3 May 2010 Tate Modern London

See More on ArtLyst

See video on: ArtLyst Virtual Tour

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