Arshile Gorky
His Life and Work

(ISBN: 978-0-374-52972-7)
2003 New York
767 pages
Size: 5 3/4" x 9"
Language(s): English

Additional Artists

Born in Turkey in 1904, Vosdanik Adoian escaped the massacres of Armenians in 1915 only to watch his mother die of starvation, his sister abandoned to an orphanage, and his remaining family scattered in their flight from the Turks. Arriving in Massachusetts in 1920, Adoian invented the pseudonym Arshile Gorky — and obliterated his past. Claiming to be a distant cousin of the novelist Maxim Gorky, he found work as an art teacher, moved to New York, and meanwhile undertook a program of rigorous, solitary study, schooling himself in the modern painters he most admired, especially Cezannes and Picasso. By the late 30s Gorky had developed the style known as Abstract Surrealism. His masterpieces — enigmatic works that both baffled viewers and moved them to tears — established Gorky’s genius, and influenced the great generation of postwar American painters, even as Gorky faced a series of personal catastrophes. From the author of Frida, the celebrated biography of Frida Kahlo, Arshile Gorky traces the progress from apprentice to master of the man André Breton called ‘the most important painter in American history’.

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