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Artist profile arshile gorky. america after the war *after WWII, american art came into its own for the first time. new york city had replaced paris as.

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Presentation on theme: "Artist profile arshile gorky. america after the war *after WWII, american art came into its own for the first time. new york city had replaced paris as."— Presentation transcript:

1 artist profile arshile gorky

2 america after the war *after WWII, american art came into its own for the first time. new york city had replaced paris as the art capital of the world as many european artists (who had escaped from hitler’s third reich in coming to America) were on the rise. such artists included joseph albers, hans hofmann, andré brenton, max ernst, roberto matta, fernand léger, and piet mondrian. american artists such as willem de kooning, arshile gorky, and mark rothko were soon easily influenced by these revolutionary cubist and surrealist thinkers. their ideas eventually resulted in the abstract expressionist movement. the abstract expressionists were also known as the “action painters.” * another factor that contributed to the rise of american art was roosevelt’s new deal that promoted the wpa (an artists’ program that provided work for artists during the depression).

3 background born in armenia in 1904 and coming to america in 1920, arshile gorky was somewhat of a bridge between european and american art. gorky had had no formal training in the world of art, but rather studied art independently through observing other artists, such as picasso, cézanne, and fellow artists kandinsky, miro, and matta. his own artistic styles began to develop as the 1940’s approached.

4 ….. gorky was heavily influenced by the surrealist ideas and the cubist composition, especially automatism. automatism was the idea that one was creating with the unconscious, rather than the conscious (a theory defined by andré brenton in the first surrealist manifesto in 1924). brenton had written that creating with the unconscious was the real and pure expression of the mind, rather than the aesthetic and moral preoccupations one might be more accustomed to. this idea also influenced a variety of other abstract expressionists such as jackson pollock. furthermore, the surrealist idea of biomorphism also influenced gorky. paintings with such a concept incorporated into them meant that forms would be somewhat abstracted and with a more simplified and organic shape.

5 ….. gorky was not only a excellent draftsman as he did most of his paintings from drawings, but also a unique and colorful thinker. he would incorporate his own psychology into a landscape…a “painterly painter” he was called. his paintings were more concerned with shape and mass than line. his forms were less outlined and more flowing as forms loosely came into one another. it was described as “lyrical abstraction.” his delicacy of expression produced a kind of musical and poetic element of emotion. in addition, there was an erotic manner to his work (influence of freud’s ideas) in which the conscious was represented. this trait was noticeable in all surrealists and particularly liberating for gorky as he felt the need to express deep emotion in his work. however, this need was often attributed to his eccentric behavior and melodramatic tendencies.

6 his later years ( ) at the height of gorky’s career a fire consumed him, destroying much of his newest and greatest works. he was not only diagnosed with cancer, but also suffered from a broken neck and a failing marriage. he committed suicide in 1948 leaving traces of pain in his final paintings with distorted and tortured forms.

7 final note though arshile gorky’s work is not the most well known under the abstract expressionist movement, it is, however, historically documented as being the bridge between european abstraction and american painting for the 1940’s and 50’s. it is also of the highest quality work for its time. it conveys a raw sense of the human spirit and expresses a stroke of intimacy within him. a fine painter was arshile gorky.


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