Arshile Gorky

Arshile Gorky

Arshile Gorky’s dynamic, anthropomorphic imagery was deeply influential to the American Abstract Expressionists. Born circa 1904 in the village of Khorkom in an Armenian province of Ottoman Turkey, Gorky witnessed the massacre of his community, the minority Armenians, by Turkish troops in 1915. Soon after, his mother died of starvation and Gorky and his sister immigrated to the United States to join their father who had managed to escape. The artist studied at the New School of Design in Boston until 1924, when he moved to New York and studied at the National Academy of Design and the Grand Central School of Art. Gorky soon became a prominent figure in the New York art scene, but an unfortunate series of accidents and health problems during the mid 1940s led to severe depression culminating in his suicide in 1948. The painter is still widely revered, and his work was retrospectively exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2009 and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 2010.

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