Arshile Gorky, original name Vosdanik Adoian, (born April 15, 1904, Khorkom, Van, Turkish Armenia [now in Turkey]—died July 21, 1948, Sherman, Connecticut, U.S.), Armenian-American painter, important as the direct link between the European Surrealist painters and the painters of the American Abstract Expressionist movement. Survivor of the Armenian Genocide fled to the Unites States rejoining his sister. He was influenced by Paul Cézanne, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. He studied art and enthusiastically entered into Bohemian life in New York. Gorky had numerous artworks however he lost many in a studio fire. Gorky suffered from cancer , afterwards his neck was broken in an automobile accident, and he lost the use of his painting hand. His wife left him the following month, and shortly thereafter he hanged himself.
The Surrealists’ idea that art is the expression of the artist’s unconscious enabled Gorky to discover his personal idiom, which he pursued the last eight years of his life. In such works as The Liver Is the Cock’s Comb (1944) and How My Mother’s Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life (1944), biomorphic forms that suggest plants or human viscera float over an indeterminate background of melting colors.