Famous Armenians in America
Vostanik Adoyan, better known as Arshile Gorky was an Armenian/American abstract expressionist painter. The movement called Abstract Expressionism (also sometimes called Action Painting) began in the 1940's and was at its peak in the early 1950's. Gorky, who had no formal training, studied art by looking at other artists, such as Cezanne and Picasso, and trying to paint like them. He only began to develop his own personal style in the early 1940's.
Gorky was born Vosdanik Adoyan in 1904 in Khorkom, Western Armenia (now in Turkey ). The artist's childhood was marked by poignant suffering and tragedy caused by the massacres of Armenians at the order of the then Turkish government. Gorky witnessed the death of his mother by starvation. In 1915, Gorky escaped Turkish massacres with thousands of others refugees. Gorky arrived in the US in 1920.
His life in the new country consisted of years of hard work and bitter struggle. A succession of personal tragedies, including a fire in his studio that destroyed much of his work, a serious operation, and an automobile accident preceded Gorky's death by suicide on July 21, 1948.