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Gopnik's Daily Pic: Gorky at MoMA

By Blake Gopnik


A recent feed from my morning musings about art and objects at www.blakegopnik.com.

untitledGarden-in-Sochi-1941.jpg
(Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art)

Daily Pic: Arshile Gorky's "Garden in Sochi," from 1941, in the show called "Abstract Expressionist New York" at MoMA. The most striking thing about this AbEx show is how cheery and bright many of its paintings seem - as cheery as Gorky's "Garden" - given that the movement is so often associated with gloomy existentialism, post-war angst and the dark Freudian unconscious. Could it be that its true roots are in the post-war boom and a country, and a city, coming into their own as cultural and economic hot spots? (But if so, why is Gorky having fun in paint in 1941 already? Or could it be that painting is an inherently affirmative, cheery act, and that painters can only ever mimic gloom, with the risk that silver linings may show through at any moment, in any work.)

By Blake Gopnik  | November 17, 2010; 7:09 AM ET
Categories:  Blake Gopnik, Museums  | Tags:  Daily Pic  
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