mercredi 19 mai 2010

Arshile Gorky

“There were so many drawings from 1941 until Gorky’s death in 1948 that they became a blur and only the specialist or one obsessed could keep them in focus.
From the tragedy of his Armenian childhood ending in genocide at the hands of the Turks and his escape to America, to the painful last years – pain he gave and pain he received – ending in his suicide at 48, Gorky’s life is a terrific story.
A way to say it is that Gorky rendered unclassifiable matter in lines and color on paper. In other words, his art is also nature, generative, growing beyond description even as it describes itself in forms for which we have words and lines to convey. There is a great amidst-ness in these drawings, a wholeness that in the words of the poet Clark Coolidge "excludes nothing." However we name this, it is free beyond what the word freedom seeks to contain.”

Arshile Gorky, Study for The Betrothalc, 1946-47, pencil and crayon on paper, 60.9x46.9 cm(24x18-1/2 in.) Courtney Ross-Holst Collection.
“Arshile Gorky (Vosdanik Adoian) was born in 1904 or 1905 (there are differing accounts of the date) in the province of Van in Armenia. Following the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks in 1915, the scattering of his family, and the death of his young mother from starvation, Gorky immigrated to the United States in 1920. It was here that he took the name Arshile Gorky and invented a new life for himself.
After arriving at Ellis Island, he moved for a brief time to New England to live with relatives. In 1924 he came to New York and began to study art. He was quickly made an art instructor and taught for years in order to survive as an artist. Throughout the late 1920s and thereafter, Gorky met and became friends with a great many artists, among them Stuart Davis, John Graham, Willem de Kooning, David Smith, and Isamu Noguchi.
In the 1930s and early 1940s, Gorky's position within the New York art scene brought him into contact with some of the Surrealists who had been forced to flee Europe during the Second World War. His friendship with the Surrealist poet André Breton, who greatly believed in Gorky's work, made a deep impression. Gorky's friendship with the Chilean-born artist Matta also contributed to the development of his mature style. Matta encouraged Gorky to improvise and experiment more on paper, introducing him to the Surrealist technique of automatic drawing.

Arshile Gorky, Virginia Landscape , 1943, pencil and crayon on paper, 46.9x59.6 cm (18½x23½ in.) private collection.
In the many landscapes Gorky produced in Virginia in the early 1940s, his abstract vocabulary came to embrace natural and organic forms. His method was to take home the drawings that he made in the fields and draw repetitions of them, exploring multiple variations of each image. These repetitions enabled him to ingest new ideas gained outdoors until they became an integral part of his formal vocabulary. Meyer Schapiro, in his introduction to Ethel Schwabacher's monograph on Gorky, said that after discerning "the vague, unstable image-space of the day-dreaming mind," Gorky detached color from drawn line, making line and color two different components in the picture. Gorky's drawings from this time also gave the artist a chance to experiment and develop new techniques. He washed them in his bathtub, hung them up to dry, and later scraped or sanded the surface. In part, this new experimentation with surfaces was intended to further alter the recognizable identity of an image through the elimination of specific botanical or biological details.”

Arshile Gorky, Drawing, 1946, graphite on paper, 47.6x62.9 cm (18-3/4x 24-3/4 in.) Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.
Arshile Gorky: sketchbook drawings

A rare exhibition of drawings by one of the most pivotal and significant 20th century American painters, Arshile Gorky (1904-1948). 'Arshile Gorky: sketchbook drawings' will feature Gorky's early sketchbook drawings dating from the early 1930s. It was during that period when Gorky absorbed and re-defined European avant-garde sensibilities, having at that time a profound impact upon such artists as Willem de Kooning, Hans Burkhardt, Stuart Davis, John Graham, Isamu Noguchi and what ultimately became known as the New York School.
The drawings in this exhibition reveal Gorky's early ruminations on cubism and biomorphic abstraction, well before his encounter with the European expatriates who arrived in N.Y. during WW II. These preliminary, yet informative drawings originated from the collection of the artist, Hans Burkhardt. When Hans Burkhardt (b.1904 Basel, Switzerland - d.1994 Los Angeles) left New York late in 1937, after sharing Arshile Gorky's studio for nearly nine years, he brought to Los Angeles the largest holdings of works by his friend and mentor, outside Gorky's own holdings.
Drawings in this exhibition are offered following their inclusion in several museum exhibitions throughout the country. They were the subject of the last publication on Gorky's works by the late Gorky scholar, Melvin P. Lader, Arshile Gorky: The Early Years published by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in 2004.
Arshile Gorky: sketchbook drawings' opens May 22, through July 31 to run concurrently with the major exhibition, 'Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective' opening the following week at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, following its recent exhibition at the Tate Modern, London and the originating museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
357 North La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036 USA

1 commentaire:

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