(American, c. 1904–1948)
Oil and graphite on canvas
Framed: 68 x 82 x 5 cm (26 3/4 x 32 5/16 x 1 15/16 in.); Unframed: 49.5 x 63.5 cm (19 1/2 x 25 in.)
Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1963.152
© The Arshile Gorky Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Born Vostanik Manoug Adoian, the future artist changed his name to Arshile Gorky not long after arriving in the United States.
During a period of violent upheaval in the Ottoman Empire, Gorky escaped the Armenian genocide by Turkish troops and emigrated to the United States. The trauma of this experience deeply impacted his subsequent career as an artist. In the year he painted Untitled, he wrote to his sister, “it is as if some ancient Armenian spirit within me moves my hand to create so far from our homeland the shapes of nature we loved…. Our beautiful Armenia which we lost and which I will repossess in my art.”
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