Arshile Gorky

Armenian-American, 1904-1948. Born Vosdanik Adoian but after fleeing to Russia to escape the Armenian Genocide as a teenage, changed his name to Arshile Gorky and by 1920, emigrated to the United States. He studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and then joined the New York City art scene. He was influenced by European artists early in his career until he was introduced to Surrealism by fellow painter Roberto Matta. Gorky used his art to express the trauma he endured in his childhood. Gorky's work is widly regarded as setting the foundation for Abstract Expressionism, by employing vivid color and shapes that play against each other. In the late 1930's, Gorky designed murals for the Newark International Airport for the Works Progress Administration where he met Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko who became as influential as Gorky.

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