Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective

And more abstraction. When you see him in photographs from the 1930s and '40s — that long, soulful, somewhat melancholy face — it's easy to imagine that Arshile Gorky somehow knew he was headed for the tragedy of his final years, the series of terrible blows that ended with his suicide in 1948. But in the last decade of his life he also broke through to a new understanding of form and space that transformed American painting and opened the way to the adventures of Abstract Expressionism.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, on view through 1/10/2010