June 19, 2018 - Hauser & Wirth Publishers - New release: Arshile Gorky
June 19, 2018

Hauser & Wirth Publishers

Photo: Ed Park.

New release: Arshile Gorky
The Plow and the Song: A Life in Letters and Documents

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A remarkable addition to the ever-evolving scholarship on Arshile Gorky, The Plow and the Song: A Life in Letters and Documents chronicles the artist’s life and work through his personal letters, correspondence between friends and family, and key contemporary reviews. Edited by Matthew Spender, the publication features never-before-published materials, including diary entries from Gorky’s late wife, recently discovered letters and archival images. Although Gorky struggled to gain critical recognition throughout his life, he is now celebrated as a seminal figure in the shift to abstraction that transformed 20th century American art. His evolution as an artist was marked by periods of profound personal tragedies as well as constant cycles of radical reinvention.

About Arshile Gorky  
Arshile Gorky emigrated from Ottoman Anatolia to the United States in 1920, fleeing the Armenian Genocide. After five years living under strained conditions with relatives in Massachusetts, Gorky moved to New York and was absorbed into the cultural milieu of a city on the brink of modernism. In an assertion of independence from all national categories, he changed his name and consciously assumed the persona of an avant-garde artist, assimilating with the emerging New York culture in which he found himself. Committed to the social, if not the political, causes that engaged many of his contemporaries, Gorky taught at the Grand Central School of Art and busied himself with questions of artistic theory in the pursuit of a personal vision. He passionately studied modern masters, absorbing the work of those he admired, from Paolo Uccello to Paul Cézanne, and Giorgio de Chirico to Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, and André Masson. This practice taught him to understand their artistic processes and eventually to surmount their techniques with his own. He forged close, formative friendships with his New York school colleagues, John Graham, Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, and later, Roberto Matta.

Gorky’s work is represented in museum and private collections worldwide, including: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo NY; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas TX; Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge MA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; IVAM, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles CA; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; The Menil Collection, Houston TX; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York NY; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York NY; Tate, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT.

About the design of The Plow and the Song: A Life in Letters and Documents
The Plow and the Song: A Life in Letters and Documents
 is designed by Johannes Breyer with Robert Janes, and integrates a wide array of artwork as well as archival materials, offering a comprehensive and dynamic portrait of the artist. The publication’s typeface, Oracle, is rooted in the history of type design—applying a rigid and digital-native drawing style onto a classic proportion model—and will be officially released in 2019 through the Swiss type foundry Dinamo.

About Hauser & Wirth Publishers
Since its founding in 1992, Hauser & Wirth Publishers has been devoted to the presentation of unique, object-like books and a rich exchange of ideas between artists and scholars. With a backlist comprising monographs, artists’ books, exhibition catalogues, and collections of artists’ writings, Hauser & Wirth Publishers plays a central role in the gallery’s identity and program. Each publication seeks to encourage understanding about contemporary art, promoting discourse and appreciation by bringing new, sometimes overlooked, aspects of an artist’s creative practice into focus.

Hauser & Wirth Publishers commissions original, in-depth essays and texts, and collaborates with esteemed book designers to realize each creative vision. With rigorous scholarship, extensive illustrations, and thoughtful craftsmanship that emphasizes the essence of an object, Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ books serve as universally accessible, long-term records of exhibitions and artists’ work.

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