Arshile Gorky Takes Us “Beyond”

Arshile Gorky (1904-48) made groundbreaking paintings in the mid-1940s before he took his own life. Ardent Nature: Arshile Gorky Landscapes, 1943-47, on show at Hauser & Wirth (the first Manhattan show since the Gorky estate left Gagosian), could well be in a museum. Those years were a period of discovery for the painter, amid broader discoveries that transformed art as we know it. As Gorky put it, “abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite.” What you see in more than 30 works on show is an artist imagining and entering into a world of abstraction, grounded in observations of the natural world, based in part on repeated visits to Virginia.

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