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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Arshile Gorky & Jack Whitten

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Hauser & Wirth / Online / Art

In a 2017 toast to the influential Armenian-American painter Arshile Gorky, who died in 1948, the artist Jack Whitten described the colors in a Gorky painting. “You will not find these colors on a color chart,” he said. “You’re witnessing something that comes from the deep soul of an artist.” He cites Gorky as his “first love in painting,” and as artists they had similarities. Both used their natural surroundings and landscape motifs to delineate their own inner struggles, Gorky embracing the tonalities of a bucolic farm in Virginia, while Whitten drew color from the ancient landscapes of Crete. As the president of the Gorky foundation, Saskia Spender says, “Occupying opposite halves of the 20th century, their kinship tells a compelling story of American art.” —E.C.

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