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Trauma, bereavement and the creative process: Arshile Gorky's The Artist and His Mother

Pitman, A; (2013) Trauma, bereavement and the creative process: Arshile Gorky's The Artist and His Mother. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment , 19 (5) 366 - 369. 10.1192/apt.bp.112.010850. Green open access

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Abstract

The artist Arshile Gorky played a central role in the development of Abstract Expressionism during the 1940s. Born in Armenia, his early figurative works recall a childhood of persecution by Ottoman Turks, a period during which he suffered a number of significant losses. The painting The Artist and His Mother (c. 1926–1936) is based on a photograph showing the 7-year-old Gorky with his mother, 7 years before she starved to death during the Armenian Genocide. This article explores the early experiences that haunt this painting and the difficulties Gorky struggled with during his adult life as an immigrant to the USA – factors that contribute to an understanding of his suicide in 1948.

Type: Article
Title: Trauma, bereavement and the creative process: Arshile Gorky's The Artist and His Mother
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1192/apt.bp.112.010850
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1192/apt.bp.112.010850
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Figures 1 and 2 fall outwith this license.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1430373
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