A recently discovered work by Arshile Gorky at Hauser & Wirth Zürich

A recently discovered work by Arshile Gorky at Hauser & Wirth Zürich

Arshile Gorky — Untitled Virginia Summer — 1946–1947

From February 4 to March 19, 2022, the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Zurich presents an exhibition focusing on ‘Untitled (Virginia Summer)’, a recently discovered work by Arshile Gorky.

Source: Hauser & Wirth. Image: Arshile Gorky, “Untitled (Virginia Summer)” / “Untitled (Virginia Summer).” ©ARS New York. Image via hauserwirth.com.

Armenian painter (a resident of the United States since the age of fifteen) Arshile Gorky (1904–1948) was, along with Hans Hofmann, the great pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. Gorky, who during his early years had experimented in a wide range of styles, began to develop towards the end of the 1930s a style of lyrical abstraction, which the painter Adolph Gottlieb defined as “a wedding of Abstraction and Surrealism. Out of these opposites something new could emerge, and Gorky’s work is a part of the evidence that this is true. What he felt, I suppose, was a sense of polarity, not of dichotomy; that opposites could exist simultaneously within a body, within a painting or within an entire art.” Gorky’s work would influence virtually all Abstract Expressionist artists, especially Willem de Kooning.

In 2020, somewhat by chance, a previously unknown painting by Gorky, entitled “Untitled (Virginia Summer)”, was discovered behind another painting by Gorky, entitled “The Limit”. To celebrate this fortunate event, Hauser & Wirth has organized “Beyond The Limit,” an exhibition that, playing on the name of the work behind which “Untitled (Virginia Summer)” was discovered, presents both paintings along with a group of drawings by Gorky, directly related to them. The exhibition of both paintings in Zurich takes place after their presentation in New York, from November 16 to December 23, 2021.

In a press release, the gallery explains that “Untitled (Virginia Summer),” was created by Gorky from “intimate memories of his vacations at Crooked Run Farm, the Virginia homestead owned by his wife’s parents in the 1940s,” indicating that, during summers in Virginia, Gorky created numerous au plein air sketches, which would later shape paintings such as “Untitled (Virginia Summer).” On the occasion of the exhibition, the director Cosima Spender (Gorky’s granddaughter) has created -together with Valerio Bonelli- a film about the discovery of “Untitled (Virginia Summer)”. #2022 #ArshileGorky #Hauser&Wirth #theartwolf

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