Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
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by Arshile Gorky and Robert Mattison

This book presents reproductions of key works that are accompanied by Gorky's own writings and a collection of interviews.

Born on the shores of Armenia's Lake Van, Arshile Gorky immigrated to the United States in 1920 and went on to become one of the greatest American painters of the twentieth century. Gorky was both a forefather to and a seminal figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement years before Pollock and Motherwell, he found ways to extend Surrealist dream imagery into a uniquely American abstraction, simply by pursuing Surrealism's insistence on the authenticity of interior experience freely transcribed on canvas--also the logic of much New York Abstract Expressionism. For Gorky this was no easy endeavor: critic Meyer Schapiro called him a "fervent scrutinizer" of paintings, an ability corroborated by his close friend Willem de Kooning (whose own painting owes much to Gorky): "for some mysterious reason, he knew lots more about painting, and art... He had an extraordinary gift for hitting the nail on the head."

Although Gorky's life was cut short by his suicide in 1948, the tremendously influential legacy that he left behind has secured his reputation as the last of the great Surrealist painters and one of the first Abstract Expressionists.

Poligrafa 2009