“suggestion, that is the dream: Arshile Gorky and a selection of contemporary drawings” Exhibition


poster for “suggestion, that is the dream: Arshile Gorky and a selection of contemporary drawings” Exhibition

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Presented in collaboration with Norte Maar, this special loan exhibition features a rare drawing by Arshile Gorky from 1946 and positions the work as a source of discussion along side the work of over thirty contemporary artists including Gregory Amenoff, William Anastasi, Judy Dolnick, Hermine Ford, Margrit Lewcuk, Michael Prodanou, and Joan Snyder.
“To name an object is to suppress three-quarters of the enjoyment,” wrote the poet Mallarmé, “…suggestion, that is the dream.” Mallarmé’s statement, although originally conceived as literary concept, was quickly adopted by a younger generation of artists and musicians who were similarly rejecting the conventions of Naturalism. Mallarmé’s concept inspired a new way of seeing and interpreting art and launched the Symbolism movement in the late 19th Century.
The Symbolists argued that truth could be found in either a spiritual or mystical realm, and that this truth was the result of personal experience, rather than observation of the physical world. Painters like Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon, and Edvard Munch became distinguished leaders of this period, and they believed that art could reflect an emotion or idea rather than represent the natural world in the objective, quasi-scientific manner embodied by Realism and Impressionism.
Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) is one of the stand-alone heroes of American art. Championed as “the last link in a chain of modern painters who have compelled our vision since the late 19th Century,” Gorky’s flight was not so unlike that of the Symbolists. His art, however abstracted, was a powerful reflection of his life. Through a uniquely developed and intensely personal iconography, Gorky ushered in a new realm of “suggestion” by articulating very personal, anguished, and tormented internal nightmares into abstract drawings and paintings that have and continue to inspire the flight of the avant-garde artist.
Over thirty contemporary artists have been selected for inclusion in this exhibition with a purpose to expand upon the history marked by one of the great leaders in Post-War American art. Each of these artists has a strong and distinct personal iconography whether it is a narrative hidden in line and shape, an expression entangled in an unyielding gesture, or an emotion visualized by color alone. It is all part of the great and ongoing mystery that surrounds so many gifted artists, like Arshile Gorky.


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