ASRL / PERPETUAL 2014
 
Philadelphia Museum Explores Arshile Gorky
By huliq.com (excerpt from)
posted: 09-23-09

One of the key themes of Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective will be the artist’s profound engagement with the Surrealist movement throughout the 1940s. Gorky’s relationships with members of the Surrealist group in exile in the United States, including its leader, Andre Breton, as well as painters Yves Tanguy, Wifredo Lam, and Max Ernst, and his close friendship with the Chilean-born artist Roberto Matta all contributed to the development of his singular visual vocabulary, a highly original form of Surrealist automatism characterized by biomorphic forms rendered with thinned-out washes of paint. After his marriage in 1941 to Agnes Magruder, whose parents had a farm in Virginia, Gorky’s experience of the American landscape would enrich his artistic vision, and, beginning in 1943, emerges as a central theme in the lush, evocative paintings for which Gorky is best known. The rich farmland and bucolic atmosphere of rural Virginia (and later Sherman, Connecticut) reminded Gorky of his father’s farm near Lake Van, and inspired him to create freely improvised abstract works that combined memories of his Armenian childhood with direct observations from nature. The resulting paintings, such as "Scent of Apricots on the Fields" (1944) and "The Plow and the Song" series (1944-1947), are remarkable for their evocative strength, lyrical beauty, and fecundity of organic forms.

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The exhibition will run from October 21, 2009 to January 10, 2010

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