Impatience by Arshile Gorky

The intention of abstraction is to connect with the viewer on a deeply emotional level, so it’s always best to disassociate yourself from any recognizable figures and objects you may want to find in the imagery and simply allow the artist’s hand, his vision to guide you through the painting. Better yet, find a classical composition, or some classic jazz and look at the painting while listening to music.

In Impatience Arshile Gorky (1904 -1948) employs classic Surrealist bio-morphic forms that ebb and flow across the canvas. Looking at the curved outlines, some filled in, some open, the swirling lines and bright green, blue, red and yellow patches we can clearly see an incredible energy  that permeates the entire work. There is happiness, there is motion, there is this great positive creative force that is so fleeting in Gorky’s work…

Although widely considered an Abstract Expressionist, at a recent Drawing Surrealism exhibition at the Morgans Library and Museum in New York several of Gorky’s drawings hang side by side with such pillars of the movement as Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dali, Andre Masson among others.

Born in the eastern regions of the Ottoman Empire, Vosdanig Manoug Adoian (his real name) emigrated to the US in 1920, two years before the Ottoman monarchy was abolished, and five years after the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Gorky is considered one of the pillars of Abstract Expressionism, the largely New York-based art historical movement that has its origins in Cubism, Fauvism and Minimalism.

Shortly after Impatience was painted in 1945, the canvas entered the collection of the Surrealist Yves Tanguy in the Spring of 1946.

This work is catalogued in the Arshile Gorky Foundation Archives as # P297 and was recently sold at Sotheby’s New York for $6.8 million to a private collector.

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