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Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective
     

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective

by Michael R. Taylor (Editor), Kim S. Theriault (Contribution by), Jody Patterson (Contribution by), Harry Cooper (Contribution by), Robert Storr (Contribution by)
 

Arshile Gorky (c. 1904–1948) was one of the central figures in American art’s shift toward abstraction during the first half of the 20th century. Accompanying the first major retrospective of his work in almost thirty years, this stunning book traces the evolution of Gorky’s arresting visual style. Nearly 200 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and

Overview

Arshile Gorky (c. 1904–1948) was one of the central figures in American art’s shift toward abstraction during the first half of the 20th century. Accompanying the first major retrospective of his work in almost thirty years, this stunning book traces the evolution of Gorky’s arresting visual style. Nearly 200 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints from all phases of his career, a number of which are published here for the first time, are beautifully reproduced, including a large figurative painting from 1927 known previously only through its preparatory studies. Throughout the volume, some of Gorky’s best-known and most powerful works are paired with related pieces or with meticulous preliminary studies, shedding new light on his artistic process. Illustrated essays incorporating recently discovered biographical information and photographs examine his experience of the Armenian genocide (during which he witnessed the death of his mother), his collaboration with the Works Progress Administration, and his early explorations of abstraction and Surrealism, providing important reassessments of his life and career.

Admired by many of his contemporaries and hugely influential on subsequent generations of artists, Gorky created a complex and deeply moving body of work that encompasses styles ranging from Impressionism to Cubism, Surrealism, and the beginnings of Abstract Expressionism.

Editorial Reviews

Australian Art Review

“A beautifully designed and thoughtfully written volume.”--Australian Art Review

Library Journal
This exhibition catalog edited by Taylor (Muriel & Philip Berman curator of modern art, Philadelphia Museum of Art) is the first since Diane Waldman's 1981 Arshile Gorky, 1904–1948: A Retrospective to look comprehensively at the body of Gorky's (1902–48) work. The six accompanying essays incorporate themes from a spurt of recent biographical research (three published biographies in the last 11 years) and peer at the artist both broadly (Michael R. Taylor's "Rethinking Arshile Gorky") and precisely (Harry Cooper's "To Organize Painting") in painting a well-rounded and insightful picture of the short life and work of this increasingly important Armenian-born American artist. The catalog reproduces in full color 180 objects, including paintings, sculpture, and works on paper—ranging from early impressionistic experiments to Gorky's surrealist final years, coupling finished pieces with preparatory works. Also included is a superb chronology (illustrated liberally with documentary photos), an exhibition history (solo and group) that extends up to the current year, and an extensive bibliography. VERDICT This retrospective will be welcomed by anyone interested in American 20th-century art, and the bibliographic back matter alone makes it indispensable for researchers.—Kraig Binkowski, New Haven, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300154412
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
10/27/2009
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 11.80(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Michael R. Taylor is the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is also the author of Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés and an introduction to the revised edition of Duchamp’s Manual of Instructions for Étant donnés.

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