Arshile Gorky

1904 (Khorkum, Turkish Armenia) – 1948 (Sherman, Conn.)

De Kooning and Gorky, fellow-immigrants, shared a studio in the late 1930’s, de Kooning introducing Gorky’s wife-to-be to him at a party. Noguchi went on a transcontinental road trip with the couple (and later provided a doorstep on which Gorky wailed in anguish). Rothko studied under him, and said that he always thought of him as the class monitor. He met Breton and other surrealists-in-exile in wartime New York, where he also met Lam, on his way back to Paris. Matta was a friend from these times, but also became his wife’s lover, an affair that led to the break-up of his marriage and contributed to his suicide.