ARSHILE GORKY (1904-1948) Title: Untitled (Composition), Medium: Mixed Media on Paper, Size: 17.75 x 23.75 in , Date: c. 1930-40. (Attrib.) Was an Armenian painter best known for his profound influence on the developments of Abstract Expressionism. Gorky utilized the developments of European Surrealism combined with a wholly original vocabulary of painterly brushwork and idiosyncratic forms, to produce works such as Garden in Sochi (1941). The stuff of thought is the seed of the artist. Dreams form the bristles of the artist's brush, he once mused. As the eye functions as the brain's sentry, I communicate my innermost perceptions through the art, my worldview. Born Vostanik Manoug Adoian on April 15, 1904 in Khorgom, Ottoman Empire, he and his family were victims of the Armenian Genocide. Having survived a death march at the hands of the Turkish military, he saw his mother die from starvation as a teenager. This event scarred the young artist, with the painful memory later leading him to produce the work The Artist and His Mother (1926-1936). Fleeing to Russia and then to the United States in 1920, he changed his name and identity, telling people he was related to the Russian writer Maxim Gorky to avoid discussing his past. He went on to attend the New School of Design in Boston, absorbing the influence of Impressionism and Paul Cezanne. Moving to New York in the early 1930s, he found work as a muralist for the WPA, where he met fellow painters Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. By 1940, Gorky had adopted a Surrealist logic and begun using his drawings from nature as catalysts for his abstract oil paintings. Suffering from depression brought on by health problems and the dissolution of his marriage, the artist hanged himself on July 21, 1948 in Sherman, CT. Today, his works are held the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Gallery in London, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.