Hauser & Wirth announced today that it now represents the estate of Arshile Gorky, the Armenian-born American modernist painter whose work was the subject of a traveling retrospective in 2009. Gorky’s estate had previously been represented by Gagosian Gallery.
The news marks yet another significant addition to Hauser & Wirth’s roster, which also includes the estates of Philip Guston and David Smith. As of late, the gallery has made itself a destination for major shows of historical work, such as a critically acclaimed show of paintings by Guston made between 1957 and 1967, and a survey of non-figural sculpture by women that inaugurated Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, its new Los Angeles space.
Though Gorky has been seen by many as being massively influential (André Breton was a fan), his work remains a bit less known than the Abstract Expressionist art that his paintings inspired. (Gorky committed suicide at the age of only 44 in 1948, ending his career at the moment when Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and others were stepping into the spotlight.) Moving between figuration and abstraction, Gorky’s paintings explore the possibilities of line and geometry, slicing up drippy, thinly painted color fields with amorphous forms.
Hauser & Wirth is already planning its first Gorky show. The exhibition will be curated by Paul Schimmel, and after debuting in New York in 2017, it will travel to Hauser Wirth & Schimmel in L.A.