MOCA To Present Arshile Gorky Program To Community Groups

A photograph of Gorky and his mother.

GLENDALE—Paul Schimmel, Chief Curator of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), will present a special overview of the West Coast presentation of Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, to a gathering of community groups in Glendale, California, on April 30, 2010. The presentation will feature a slideshow on the exhibition and MOCA’s plans for related programs. The dinner event is being organized by the Armenian Professional Society (APS), National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), USC Institute of Armenian Studies, Armenian Allied Arts Association, Armenian Film Foundation, Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America, and ARPA Institute. Net proceeds from the dinner event will be donated to MOCA to support its Friends of Arshile Gorky campaign.

MOCA will present Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective June 6 through September 20, at MOCA Grand Avenue. This major traveling retrospective celebrates the extraordinary life and work of Arshile Gorky, who was born Vosdanig Adoian c.1902 in the Van region of Historic Armenia. After surviving the Armenian genocide of 1915-23, Gorky immigrated to the United States, where he pursued his artistic ambitions and became a seminal figure in the movement toward abstraction that transformed American art in the middle of the 20th century. Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective positions Gorky as a crucial founder of abstract expressionism, but also as a passionate and dedicated artist whose tragic life often informed his groundbreaking and deeply personal paintings. The first full-scale survey of Gorky’s work since 1981, the exhibition features Gorky’s most significant paintings, sculptures, and works on paper.

Tracing the career of an important Armenian-American artist, this historic exhibition will be a powerful vehicle for raising awareness of the Armenian people and their tremendous contributions to art, culture, and history. MOCA’s presentation, the third on the exhibition’s tour, is organized by MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel.

Commented Schimmel, whose mother was Armenian, “As the only West Coast venue, MOCA is proud to present the work of this historically important artist who developed a unique and deeply influential visual language. Gorky courageously reshaped European modernism into the foundations of abstract expressionism. He inspired a new generation of artists, demonstrating that the act of painting alone was enough to be both poetically charged and powerfully tragic.”

Stephan Bagboudarian, APS President, commented, “The Gorky exhibit at MOCA will appeal to a large audience of Armenians as well as the general public, and we expect significant attendance figures in Los Angeles. Our event on April 30 will give our local community a first look at this important exhibition, which I’m sure will generate enthusiasm for spreading the word as well as providing some financial support for MOCA’s ambitious undertaking.”

Representatives of APS and MOCA will discuss this event in a live interview on Horizon Armenian TV on Monday, April 26 at 8:30 p.m.

The presentation will be held on Friday, April 30, 2010, at 7:00 pm at the Brandview Collection banquet hall, located at 109 E. Harvard St, Glendale, CA 91205. Admission to the event is $50 through April 20 and $60 thereafter, with RSVP required by April 27. Tickets may be purchased at www.ItsMySeat.com, or by sending a check payable to APS to P.O. Box 10306, Glendale, CA 91209. Additional information may be obtained by contacting APS at www.apsla.org, apsla@apsla.org, or 818-685-9946.

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