The liver is the comb of Gorky's rooster

The liver is the comb of Gorky's rooster
The liver is the comb of Gorky's rooster

abstract expressionism is the first artistic style that is properly American and that will have such acclaimed painters as Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning. But to understand how this special type of art emerged, you have to look for explanations in reality and in the historical context.


The liver is Gorky's rooster comb

And that context was that gradually in the Interwar period, United States became the epicenter of the world, and of course that was also making its big cities become cultural centers of an international nature, which emerged as an irrepressible attraction for the greatest artists, whatever their origins.

A process that multiplied definitively and exponentially, after the Second World War In this way, people like Piet Mondrian arrived in the United States , Salvador Dalí, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall and many others, who were the influence of the new generation of artists in the country.

One of those creators who came to the United States was the Armenian Arshile Gorky (1904 – 1948). But he did it long before he was a sought-after artist, since he settled in the country at just 16 years old after an incredible life event in which he had to flee the Armenian genocide, see how he died inhis mother in his arms and walk hundreds of kilometers in his flight. The fact is that she was going to become the link betweenSurrealismand the future Abstract Expressionism

Among the great works he did there were the 10 murals he did to decorate theNewark airport, although many have been destroyed and only two have been rediscovered

However, one of his masterpieces is the large canvas (186 x 249) held at theAlbright-Knox Museum in Buffaloen titledThe liver is the comb of the rooster. A work that he made in 1944 and that synthesizes that evolution from the surreal to the most expressive abstraction.

In this there is a determining element that is the most personal hallmark of this painter, and which he shares with other contemporary artists such as Joan Miró or Hans Arp. They are biomorphic forms, that is, they seem to be organic masses, so that with them he intends to make the transmission of feelings and expressions easier.

Gorkyhe used to say that when dealing with these works, he did not consider “painting in front of nature”, what he was really looking for was “painting within her”. And this canvas is the ultimate expression of it, for when viewers stand in front of it, it is the painting that seems to draw them in, to surround them in ever-changing, living forms.

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