Art: The Triumph of Achilles the Bitter

In New York City, a definitive Arshile Gorky retrospective

In the summer of 1948. the painter Arshile Gorky entered his studio barn in Sherman, Conn., tied a noose in a rope, chalked a farewell message on a picture crate—"Goodbye, My Loveds," it read in broken English—and hanged himself. He was 44 years old, and he had been afflicted by most of the disasters that can befall a man: cancer, the destruction of many of his works in a fire, nagging poverty and the collapse of his family. His life had been a mass of insecurities...

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