Arshile Gorky Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions, Armenia
4-15-1904 Khorgom, TUR - 7-21-1948 Sherman, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Originally named Vasdanig Manoog Adoian, Arshile Gorky was born at Khorkam Vari in Turkish Armenia. He survived the genocide perpetrated on the Armenians by the Turks during World War 1 and escaped to the West, settling in the USA in 1920. The death of his mother during one of the Turkish Atrocities had a profound influence on his art.
It was at this time that Arshile Gorky adopted his new name, taking the surname from the celebrated Russian writer Maxim Gorky. In America, he trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and continued his studies in Boston.
For several years his style was a heady but eclectic mixture of elements drawn from Miro, Cezanne, Picasso, Matta and Andre Breton, and it was from the latter that he was attracted to Surrealism, concentrating a biomorphism ( the creation of organic abstracts), but later developed his own distinctive style which promoted Abstract Expressionism.
His paintings The Artist and His Mother are based on a childhood photograph taken in Van in which he is depicted standing beside his mother is memorable, moving and innovative portrait. Arshile Gorky made two versions. The painting has been likened to Ingres for simplicity of line and smoothness, to Cézanne for flat planar composition, to Picasso for form and color.
From 1946, Gorky suffered a series of crises: his studio barn burned down, he underwent a colostomy for cancer, and his wife had an affair with Roberto Matta. In 1948, Gorky's neck was broken and his painting arm temporarily paralyzed in a car accident, and his wife left him, taking their children with her. Arshile Gorky hanged himself in Sherman, Connecticut in 1948 at the age of 44.