Art: The Bitter One

When Painter Arshile Gorky died in 1948, the New York Times gave the story a mere 15 lines—and perhaps it would not have run even that much had it not believed, mistakenly, that the artist was "a first cousin of Maxim Gorky, the writer." Hindsight proves that the press and public sadly wronged Arshile Gorky. As two new shows in Manhattan demonstrate, he was one of the significant U.S. painters of this century.

The show at the Sidney Janis Gallery is a small retrospective; the one at the David Anderson Gallery concentrates on graphic works. Different as they are, the exhibitions eloquently...

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