Arshile Gorky

Arshile Gorky (April 15, 1904 – July 21, 1948) was an Armenian-American painter, who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. As such, his works were often speculated to have been informed by the suffering and loss he experienced of the Armenian Genocide.
Gorky was born on April 15, 1904 Vostanik Manuk Adoian in the village of Khorgom, situated on the shores of Lake Van in Ottoman Empire. In later years Gorky was vague about even the date of his birth, changing it from year to year. In 1908 his father emigrated to America to avoid the draft, leaving his family behind in the town of Van.In 1915 Gorky fled Lake Van during the Armenian Genocide and escaped with his mother and his three sisters into Russian-controlled territory. In the aftermath of the genocide, Gorky's mother died of starvation in Yerevan in 1919. Arriving in America in 1920, the 16-year old Gorky was reunited with his father, but they never grew close. In the process of reinventing his identity, he changed his name to "Arshile Gorky", even telling people he was a relative of the Russian writer Maxim Gorky.