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Arshile Gorky (American, 1904-1948)


Also known as:  Adoian, Vosdanig Manoog; Vosdanig Manoog Adoian

Birth Place: Armenia (Asia)

A survivor of genocide in Turkey, Arshile Gorky had a childhood riddled with misfortune. Although Gorky's exact date of birth is unknown, he was young when his mother passed away. His father moved the remaining family members to Rhode Island during Gorky's childhood. Gorky's interest in art sprang forth from admiration for other well-known and inspirational figures in the field.

Paul Cézanne, a French artist, proved a major source of inspiration for the budding creator. Gorky firmly believed that by harnessing inspiration from another artist, he could create words that would have the power to transform in and of themselves. He was also profoundly influenced by the Cubism movement.

The Artist and His Mother acted as the title for two of Gorky's works and may have been a culivations of his own childhood experience. He also produced other popular works including Blue Figure in a Chair, The Leaf of the Artichoke Is an Owl and Diary of a Seducer. Fans of his work can see Gorky's pieces at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art among others. Individuals who are interested in learning more about the life and work of this famed artist are able to do so at the Arshile Gorky Foundation website.

After a lifetime of achievement, Gorky passed away on July 21, 1948. The cause was suicide, but the legacy of his work lives on and continues to inspire other artists who wish to break the mold of their society with creativity and passion.

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