( c ur i o c a b i n et ) Livi ng Energy The Abstract Expressionist Paintings of Michael West Michael West, 1. P 930 hoto: John Boris. Courtesy of Stuart Friedman A work of art is born of the artist in a mysterious and secret way. —Kandinsky Ae ft r her divorce from theater actor Randolph Nelson, to whom she’d been married a year, Corinne “Michael” West moved from Ohio to New York. She soon found an apartment in the Village and began studying painting at the Art Students League. Her teacher, Hans Hoffmann, was the founder of action painting. His theory of “push and pull” in an image to create form and texture appealed to her, as did his visceral technique of vigorous brushstrokes across the canvas. He demanded his students’ total allegiance and in his classroom created a cultlike atmosphere. When another class member, Lorenzo Santillo, suggested that she meet his friend, Armenian painter Arshile Gorky, she at first refused, suspect - ing that he would be too much like their teacher. On a cold March evening in 1935, however, West went with Santillo to a party at Gorky’s large studio on Union Square.
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Jun 24, 2015
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