Black Angel: The Double Life of Arshile Gorky

HOLLYWOOD–Nouritza Matossian–author of "Black Angel," performs her one-woman’show at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday–April 30–playing the four beloved women in Arshile Gorky’s life with images and music. Two local non-profits–The Land and Culture Organization and the Hamazkayin Heritage Committee–have joined forces to bring this benefit performance to Los Angeles. Both organizations work to promote and preserve Armenian art–culture–and architecture in both the United States and Armenia.

Arshile Gorky was one of the great painters of the 20th century. Born in western Armenia under the Ottoman Empire in 1902–he fled the aftermath of the 1915 Armenian genocide at the age of 16. Upon his arrival in New York–as a destitute refugee–he refused to be identified as one of the "starving Armenia’s" and subsequently changed his name from Manoug Adoian to Arshile Gorky and became the first Abstract Expressionist painter–launching the movement in the United States.

Ignited by her fascination with his work–which she saw as a teenager in London–Nouritza Matossian wrote the definitive biography Black Angel: A Life of Arshile Gorky (Overlook Press–2000). Her family’s similar experiences during 1915 and her ability to speak Armenian gave Matossian unique access to the people and influences in Gorky’s life during the 20 years she spent researching the book in Armenia–Turkey–France–England–Spain–and the United States–thus giving the book a unique depth and perspective.

Her quest for Gorky’s lost history attracted director Atom Egoyan’s attention and gave him a vehicle on which to base his film "Ararat." He also modeled his female lead–Ani–the author of the Arshile Gorky biography portrayed in the movie–on Matossian’s own experiences.

The performance examines Gorky’s life from the perspective of the four women who influenced his life. As the lights dim–images appear and Gorky’s favorite Armenian song echoes through the room. Matossian reincarnates the artist’s mother–sister–first love–and wife–sharing their intimate recollections of the man they loved. With warmth and humor–she engages and moves her audiences–bringing the spirit of New York’s most mysterious artist to life.


Barnsdall Gallery Theater and Art Park

4800 Hollywood Boulevard
April 30–2006

3:00 PM $20
7:00 PM $30 (Followed by a Q&A with the author)

For Tickets (888) 913-7484

Book Signing & Appearance

Sardarabad Bookstore

1111 S. Glendale Blvd.
Glendale–Ca. 91205
April 27–2006
5:00-7:00 PM


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