November 14, 2012 - 15:37 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The work of Armenian-born abstract expressionist Arshile Gorky, Impatience was auctioned for a record $6.802.500 at Sotheby’s.
Executed in 1945, Arshile Gorky's lyrical Impatience marks the crescendo of the 1943-45 period when the artist created an elite cycle of abstract canvases. Impatience is distinguished by an extensive exhibition history beginning with the 1951 show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The ownership history of the present work equally is remarkable, having been part of the private collections of the noted Surrealist artist, Yves Tanguy, as well as the distinguished American collector, Israel Rosen. The painting was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Kohl in 1973 and has not been exhibited since the early 1980s.
Arshile Gorky was born Vosdanig Adoian around 1902 in the village of Khorkom, near Lake Van, in an Armenian province on the eastern border of Ottoman Turkey. The Armenian Genocide drove Gorky's family and thousands of others out of Van in 1915. These traumatic events culminated in the tragic early death of his mother from starvation in December 1918. Gorky and his sister Vartoosh eventually immigrated to the United States in 1920, where he changed his name to Arshile Gorky (in honor of the famed Russian writer Maxim Gorky) and invented a new life for himself.
After living with relatives in New England, Gorky settled in New York City in 1924, and enrolled at the National Academy of Design and the Grand Central School of Art (where he also became an instructor).
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Gorky's prominent position in the New York art scene brought him into contact with several members of the Surrealist group, who had been forced to flee Europe during the Second World War.
Until his death in 1948, Gorky painted highly original abstractions that combined memories of his Armenian childhood. A string of tragic events beginning in the mid 1940s, however, would leave the artist in both physical and emotional agony, leading the depressed Gorky to commit suicide on July 21, 1948.