Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Arshile Gorky: Retrospective at the Tate

In 1, art on February 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Chris Ofili is the name dripping off any guys lips who tries to sound interested in art. Strangely frequently, I will meet a man in a bar, and the conversation goes to poo. It’s interesting, I thought input is much more interesting for men than output…

So, I end up at the Tate Modern, looking for the Chris Ofili, only to find it is at the Tate Britain, about ten stops away. My friend has come anyway, so we wondered into the Gorky. I had never really come into contact with Gorky’s work before, and found myself at first disappointed.

Frankly, the introductory room of his early paintings was unimpressive. They were just copies of Cezanne and Picasso, without the integrity. And to be honest, his abstractions didn’t grab me, BUT his latest works were a few portraits. The eyes are large and smooth and they look right through you. Some limbs are morphed and strange. they are terrifying, but beautiful.

This is the best picture I could find of this portrait. Her hand is oversized and almost looks cloven. The simplicity of the colours comes in contrast with his multicoloured abstractions.

He looks like a man who is alone. His expression seems open, and vulnerable.

This is based on a photograph of Gorky with his mother, she died of starvation in Armenia, and the artist moved away and became Gorky. The eyes are hollow, but full at the same time. They confuse me.