Arshile Gorky: The Breakthrough Years

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9780847818754: Arshile Gorky: The Breakthrough Years

Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) is recognized as one of the most crucial and intriguing figures in the early shaping of Abstract Expressionism. Gorky pioneered a complex vocabulary of forms by fusing landscapes remembered from his childhood home in Armenia with surrealist imagery and abstract plumes of color. In so doing, he helped create a distinctly new vision for painting, leading American art into one of the most experimental periods in its history.
Gorky's most important paintings and drawings were executed from 1940 through 1947, powerfully expansive years that many regard as his breakthrough period. His rich, mature work of these years is the focus of this illuminating volume, the most comprehensive book on the subject.
Michael Auping's valuable text provides an introduction to the life and art of Arshile Gorky as well as an insightful consideration of the grand psychological landscape The Liver is the Cock's Comb, 1944, a work pivotal to the development of Gorky's style. Dore Ashton writes a lucid account of this artist who tends to resist classification, contributing an art historical overview of Gorky's appreciation of such modern innovators of abstraction and Surrealism as Miro and Kandinsky. Matthew Spender provides biographical details of Gorky's early years, while a selection of Gorky's personal letters further sheds an intimate light on the artist and his achievements.

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This solid, authoritative presentation of Gorky's pivotal art of the 1940s accompanies an exhibit of paintings and drawings showing this year at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., as well as Buffalo and Fort Worth. Biographical and art-historical essays by Auping, a Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth curator, as well as Dore Ashton and Matthew Spender summarize the critical consensus of Gorky, placing him between Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism in the development of 20th-century art. Excellent reproductions of the paintings and drawings in the show are supplemented by close-ups from several paintings, photographs of Gorky, and selections from Gorky's letters. While not a comprehensive or groundbreaking work, this volume is an excellent summary of or introduction to Gorky for both general and informed lay readers.?Kathryn Wekselman, M.Ln., Cincinnati
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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