From May 8 to September 22, 2019, Fondzione Musei Civici di Venezia will present a major exhibition of the work of Arshile Gorky at Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice. Arshile Gorky: 1904-1948 will be the first exhibition in Italy devoted to this celebrated and influential figure of 20th-century American art.
Presented as a comprehensive retrospective survey, this exhibition will examine the stages of Gorky’s remarkable career from his earliest works during the 1920s, where his interrogation of Cézanne’s compositions permeated his approach to painting, through to the culmination of his auto-didactic study of modern masters and movements, to the point where the elements from these various stimuli explicitly coalesced into Gorky’s singular and powerful vision.
Arshile Gorky: 1904-1948 will seek to highlight that Gorky’s artistic voice is present from the earliest stages of his career, when he was seemingly in thrall to the work of past masters and strengthened as his work progressed. The final section of the exhibition will illustrate the extent to which Gorky’s pictorial energy and imagination merged with his renewed encounter with nature in the landscapes of Virginia and Connecticut over the summers of 1942-1945.
A strong selection of these mature Arshile Gorky masterworks, with their array of surreal, abstract and figurative, reveal an artist at the very height of his extraordinary creative power. The inimitable quality of the late work was recognized by Surrealist poet André Breton who, in a catalog preface for an exhibition of Gorky’s work in 1945, described it as a “hybrid,” acknowledging the complexity of Gorky’s evocation of the natural world united with myriad personal memories and differing influences.
In addition to paintings, the exhibition at Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice will include a selection of Arshile Gorky’s works on paper, which demonstrate his remarkable skills. All works are borrowed from significant international institutions and private collections: among the lenders, the Tate London, the National Gallery of Art of Washington, DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Centre Pompidou of Paris, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza of Madrid, the Israel Museum of Jerusalem. The exhibition will include 80 works.