“Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia presents the first retrospective survey of the American artist Arshile Gorky in Italy, entitled ‘Arshile Gorky: 1904 – 1948’, at Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art. Bringing together over 80 works, this major exhibition explores the full breadth of Gorky’s oeuvre. From his interrogation of modernist masters in the 1920s, to his late paintings of the 1940s, Gorky’s singular vision was present throughout, defining him as one of the pivotal figures of 20th century American Art, alongside Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko.
“A hundred years ago the teenage Arshile Gorky got as close to Venice as he’d ever be in person, when the boat taking him to America stopped in Naples. Spiritually, however, he was never far from Italy – from the art of Pompeii, Uccello and de Chirico, who were among his chosen predecessors. He liked to work as fast as Tintoretto famously did, because as he once said, ‘when we are in tune with our times we do things with greater ease.’ We hope that this exhibition fills visitors with a sense not only of Gorky’s singular stance but also of his prolific energy, and it is the first time that his work will be seen on this scale in Italy. He was a man who rejected borders and labels of all kinds, from his birth name to art historical categories – yet the view from Venice 2019 might confirm that such individual expression could only emerge from mid-century New York.” — Saskia Spender, President, The Arshile Gorky Foundation, and granddaughter of the artist
“Through this first monographic exhibition in Italy, Gorky’s extraordinary creative persona will illuminate areas still in the shadows of the history of the art of our country, allowing us to explore in depth the osmosis between European and American painting, of which Gorky was undoubtedly one of the most important innovators”. — Gabriella Belli, Director, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
“In bringing together a number of Gorky’s most important works from across his entire career, this exhibition will serve to reinforce his significance within the development and canon of 20th century American art, and highlight his continuing relevance.” — Edith Devaney, Curator
‘Arshile Gorky: 1904 – 1948’ was organized in collaboration with The Arshile Gorky Foundation and curated by Gabriella Belli, Director of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, and Edith Devaney, curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Images courtesy Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.