Tuesday Art ATTACK- Arshile Gorky "The Liver is the Cocks Comb"

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Arshile Gorky, The Liver is the Cocks Comb Vostanik Manuk Adoian, the Aremenian-American artist, was born in April of 1904. He was born in the small town of Khorgom situated in the Ottoman Empire. His father left America in 1908 in order to find work. Shortly after, in 1915, Adoian along with his mother and three sisters fled into Russia to escape the Armenian Genocide. While in Russia Adoian's mother died of starvation. The Armenian Genocide and the death of his mother would later play major roles in his work. Adoian finally made it to America in 1920 and was reunited with his father. In the process of arriving in America and being able to reinvent himself, Adoian decided to change his name to Arshile Gorky so that he would be assumed as Russian. In 1922 he enrolled into the New School of Design in Boston where he later became a part time instructor. It was at the New School that he gained recognition as an artist and as a result was asked to teach full time at the Grand Central School of Art in New York. In New York, Gorky met many other artists and gained some popularity being one of the first artists asked to work of the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. Other artists of this time associated with this project are Diego Rivera, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. One artist in particular that Gorky grew close to was Willem de Kooning. De Kooning and Gorky became fast friends in New York and often worked together, Gorky even did several Portraits of De Kooning. The friendship between these two men can really be seen in the effect each had on one an others paintings. In 1941 Gorky married Anges Magruder with whom he had two daughters. The years to follow would bring only tragedy to Gorky's life. His studio, which housed many of his paintings, burned down in 1946. Following this he discovered his wife's affair with the painter Roberto Matta. Soon after he was the victim of a terrible car accident. The accident resulted in Gorky breaking his neck and temporarily paralyzing his painting arm. After the accident his wife left Gorky taking with her his two children. Arshvile Gorky suffering from severe depression committed suicide in 1948 at the age of 44. Gorky contributed heavily to the art world despite his short life. He helped create a language of painting that helped drive the color expressionist movements of the 20th century. His fusion of surrealism, cubism, and explosive color opened up possibilities for other artists of that time as well as future artists.

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