Published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers. Edited by Matthew Spender.
Author of From a High Place: A Life of Arshile Gorky, Matthew Spender presents a new expanded edition of his 2010 publication Arshile Gorky: Goats on the Roof, with never-before-published material, including diary entries and letters from the artist’s wife as well as additional contextual documents. Arshile Gorky is increasingly considered an important influence on the development of abstract expressionism. From Gorky’s turbulent childhood fleeing the Armenian genocide in Turkey, to his adulthood in the United States, to his suicide in his forties after a traumatic series of physical and emotional setbacks, this biography offers an intimate window into the artist’s life, telling his story through many voices: his letters, sent and received; the correspondence of family and friends; pivotal reviews and criticism; newspaper articles and other essential documents.
With new design integrating a fuller range of artwork and archival images, the book provides a more comprehensive portrait of Gorky, showing his struggle for recognition, his devotion to his family and his connection to his Armenian heritage. The artist’s life story unfolds through his personal letters, the correspondence between friends and family and key contemporary reviews.
Arshile Gorky (1904–48) immigrated from Ottoman Armenia to the US in 1920. After five years living under strained conditions with his family in Massachusetts, Gorky moved to New York and became absorbed into the cultural milieu of a city on the brink of modernism. From 1946, Gorky suffered a series of crises: his studio burned down, he underwent an operation for cancer and his wife had an affair with Roberto Matta. Gorky hanged himself in 1948, at the age of 44. He is buried in North Cemetery in Sherman, Connecticut.
Published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers. Edited by Saskia Spender. Foreword by Saskia Spender. Text by Edith Devaney.
Ardent Nature: Arshile Gorky Landscapes, 1943–47 is the first book to explore nature’s central role in establishing the singular voice of this truly pioneering figure in abstract expressionism. In the early 1940s, Gorky turned to nature as a primary subject matter, inspired by his summers spent in Connecticut and rural Virginia. The resulting works from this career-defining period, filled with a bold use of color, line and composition, and infused with an explosive expressive freedom, are some of the most evocative works of Gorky’s career. Featuring over 50 landscapes from this period, including paintings and works on paper, the book opens with a personal foreword from the artist’s granddaughter (and the show’s curator). The book continues with an essay from Edith Devaney, curator of the celebrated 2016 Abstract Expressionism show at the Royal Academy of Art in London, which traces the development of the Armenian-American artist’s passion and instinct for art along the arc of his career, highlighting key links to Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.
Published by Ediciones Polígrafa. Text by Robert S. Mattison.
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. Here, reproductions of key works are accompanied by Gorky's own writings and a collection of interviews.