Arshile Gorky


gorky ap


Arshile Gorky was born Vosdanik Adolian.  His family became refugees from the Turkish invasion; Gorky himself left in 1915 and finally arrived in the United States in 1920.  He stayed with relatives in Massachusetts, and with his father, who had settled in Rhode Island.  By 1922, he was teaching at the New School of Design in Boston.  In 1925 he moved to New York and changes his name to Arshile Gorky and entered the Grand Central School of  Art in New York as a student but soon became an instructor of drawing.  Throughout the ‘20s Gorky’s paintings were influenced by Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Joan Miró and, above all, Pablo Picasso.  Hauting and lyrical, Gorky’s figurative works give vent to repressed emotion with the styles reminiscent of Picasso and Cézanne.  He found his strongest artistic voice in biomorphic abstractions and an association with the Surrealists, especially Breton.  Gorky’s works are found in the permanent collection of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  A succession of personal tragedies, including a fire in his studio that destroyed much of his work, a serious operation and an automobile accident, preceded Gorky’s death by suicide on July 21, 1948.