The Arshile Gorky retrospective has reached London and Jackie Wullschlager gives her take on it in the Financial Times (excerpt below). Now that the Philadelphia Museum’s show has reached a major art center, keep an eye out for a some Gorky works to appreciate in value. Yes, there work is hard to come by but look at the example above which sold at Sotheby’s in May 2008. The untitled work on paper was estimated at $400-600,000 but sold for $2.449m. Another work from the same collection also blew out the estimates to sell for $623,400.
Altogether more than $3m spent on Gorky works on paper in a few minutes. Granted, nothing has come to market since that sold as well. Maybe a good museum show is all that it takes? Now let’s go back to Wullschlager:
American art’s favourite story is that of its own invention, which gives special place to Arshile Gorky. The Armenian was the hinge that swung Parisian surrealism into New York abstract expressionism, and so to US dominance of visual culture. Philadelphia Museum’s extensive, finely tuned retrospective, just arrived at Tate Modern, is therefore a full-blown, triumphal affair and, as European museums possess only half a dozen major Gorkys, a vivid, rare pleasure. […] Gorky’s paradoxical love affair with this heritage opens Tate’s show. The first rooms, including Gorky’s Cézannesque “Pears, Peaches and Pitcher”, his copy of a Matisse, “Antique Cast”, and the schematised “Woman with a Palette”, recently discovered and echoing Picasso’s 1920s nudes, read like an abbreviated history lesson. Self-taught through 20 years’ absorption in the modern masters, Gorky presented himself in New York as a Paris-trained prodigy. But he never set foot in France; nor did he know Russian.
Arshile Gorky at Tate Modern (Financial Times)