On this day - April 15, 1904: Arshile Gorky was born in Khorgom, Armenia
April 15, 2020
On this day in 1904, Vosdanig Manoug Adoyan (Arshile Gorky)was born in Khorgom, a bucolic village in the historic Armenian region of Van.
On this day, in 1904, Vosdanig Manoug Adoyan was born in Khorgom, a bucolic village in the historic Armenian region of Van. Genocide, exile, and famine painted the backdrop to what would soon become one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. From farm boy to seminal abstract expressionist painter, Arshile Gorky (as he later came to be known) transcended borders, time, and space to achieve what few have ever done: immortality.
Arshile Gorky’s pioneering art has made him the subject of several books, documentaries, and even a nonprofit foundation dedicated to understanding his work. Yet, his revolutionary legacy also lives on outside of the art world—in one of the most unexpected of places—his home. We ventured to find this artistic oasis and, in doing so, learned more about the man behind the painting. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Gorky’s passing and the unassuming farmhouse that once inspired one of the 20th century’s best painters continues to inspire new generations.
Join our community and receive regular updates!Join now!
Few artists have been able to transcend ethnocultural borders and earn worldwide name recognition: Arshile Gorky is among them. A key founder of abstract expressionist art, Gorky (born Vosdanig Manoug Adoyan) was a prolific painter whose tragic personal life influenced and elevated his art to uncharted heights. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, he sought safety and peace in the United States, achieving the former but not the latter, tragically taking his own life at the height of his prowess. As contemporary British art critic William Feaver stated, Gorky’s death left the field open for his now more-famous rival, Jackson Pollock. Despite his early departure, Gorky’s artistic legacy lives on today, with many of his paintings and drawings hanging in the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries
Since the days of Mesrop Mashtots (the fifth century inventor of the Armenian alphabet*), the Armenian script has played a vital role in the cultural and artistic legacy of her people. Like ancient relics in a museum, each decorative stroke illustrates a story that is steeped in thousands of years of history, literature, art, and religion. Fast forward 1,600 years and this ancient tradition is at a crossroads for survival, with knowledge and usage almost all but forgotten. Yet, once again, one man is at the helm of a movement—a new zartonk (“renaissance”) in Armenian calligraphy. Using a wide range of multimedia, artist Ruben Malayan is ushering in a new era for this unique, yet overlooked art form