How My Mother’s Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life

How My Mother's Embroidered Apron Unfolds Upon my Life

“I often tell myself stories when I’m painting. Often nothing to do with the painting. My stories are often from my childhood. My mother told me many stories while I pressed my face into her long apron with my eyes closed. . . . All my life her stories and her embroidery kept unraveling pictures in my memory.”

–Arshile Gorky

Exhibited in 1945 at the Julien Levy Gallery during his first solo-show in New York City, this painting forms an important bridge between art movements. The Levy Gallery was known for representing European Surrealist artists but Gorky’s work fused ideas derived from Cubism as well as Surrealism into a new visual proposal. Gorky’s drips and fluidity infuse this painting with great movement. This new technique helped to define the energy of what came to be known as abstract expressionism.

Image: How My Mother’s Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life, 1944, Arshile Gorky, oil on canvas, 40 x 45 1/16 in., Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, 74.40, © The Arshile Gorky Foundation.