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Arshile Gorky (aka Vosdanik Adoian)

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Arshile Gorky
American 20th century
(Khorkom, Armenia, 1904 - 1948, Sherman, Connecticut)

Born 1904, Khorkom, Armenia [Turkey]; active 1925–42, New York; 1942–48, New York and Sherman, CT; died 1948, Sherman Arshile Gorky was the first New York painter to discover surrealist automatism and is recognized as one of the most crucial artists in the shaping of Abstract Expressionism. As early as the mid-1930s, he was inspired by the Spanish Surrealist Joan Miró to loosen his compositions and experiment with biomorphic imagery. In the early 1940s he met Chilean-born Surrealist Roberto Matta, who persuaded him to mix turpentine generously with his paint and move toward a more spontaneous and free associative development of form. The use of thin oilwashes allowed him to produce the suggestive, free-flowing forms and ambiguous spaces that characterize his mature work.


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