Arshile Gorky was born in America, borrowed a famous Russian name from his hero Maxim Gorky, and paradoxically changed the course of American modern art, influencing painters such as de Kooning, Rothko and Pollock The key to understanding his work is the true story of this tumultuous tragic life, told here for the first time. He through a world war, famine and the horrors of genocide before emigrating to America. Nouritza Matossian, herslf of American origin, has returned to Gorky`s roots in Van, travelled in his footsteps, and talked to his widow and family to recreate those traumatic ealr years. And sifting through published and unpublished letter, she has made startling discoveries which explain how his life and work came to be falsified, mythologised and misinterpreted. Matossian brilliantly integrates his personal and artistic biography, vividly conjouring up not only his background and life but also the American art scene between the wars and his extraordinary influence upon it. An important contribution to art history, this is a vibrant and controversial biography of a charismatic genius who hanged himself, aged 44, at the peak of his career.
Nouritza Matossian writes for the "Observer," the "Independent," "Vogue" and "Harpers & Queen." "From the Trade Paperback edition."