NEW YORK SCHOOL

ART GALLERY



Featuring the passionate artwork of Corinne Michael West (1908 - 1991) Abstract Expressionist woman painter; John & Miriam Begg; Norman Carton;  Friedel Dzubas; Seymour Franks; Peter Gee; Hugo Gnam; Kurt Graf; Hananiah Harari; Ruth Horton; William Hopper; Consuelo Kanaga; William Kienbusch; Arthur Lidov; Anni(Anne or Anna) Neumann; Louise Nevelson; Wallace Putnam; Charles Rain; Ruth Ray; Ralph Rosenborg; Charles Seliger; Max Schnitzler; Pavel Tchelitchew; Kristians Tonny; Michael (Corinne) West; Pennerton West; Posters; Contemporary Art; Outsider Art.

WE HAVE A LARGE SELECTION OF ARTWORK AND HESITATE TO ILLUSTRATE TOO MANY WORKS. WE DO NOT HANDLE OVERSHOWN ART, AND IF SOLD, IMMEDIATELY REMOVE IT FROM THIS WEBSITE. PLEASE CALL TO DISCUSS ANY ARTIST AND WORK. THE NY SCHOOL ART GALLERY IS PROUD OF THE ARTISTS AND ARTWORK WE HANDLE.





Michael (Corinne) West. COMMANCHI, 1960. Oil on canvas. 50"x 60".


Portrait of Michael West (Corinne West), by Jon Boris, Cincinnati, 1930.

Michael West made reference to "The New Art" in a 1942 poem of the same title. This "new art" was later to be more formally known as lyrical cubism and then Abstract Expressionism. This is a very early reference to America's new art. In 1936 at the Rochester Art Club she had her first one woman show. She gave a lecture during the exhibition and discussed Hofmann's Push and Pull theories, Picasso, Cubism, and other 'new art' tenets. The audience which was made up of mostly students, were completely enthralled. Her drawings completely sold out.

Her story is a long and fascinating one. Arshile Gorky said, "Corinne, you are unlike any other American painter". West’s work is experimental and differs in each decade, revealing her honest gift to the Abstract Expressionism movement. She has made an exceptional contribution as one of the early proponents of Abstract Expressionism through her artwork, poetry, and friendships with the many other early members of the New York School.

As you click on the PAINTINGS BY DECADE link on the top left of the page, you will be brought to another page with more links to each decade of her work. Photographic portraits of the artist are shown in each decade. Please also note the interesting 1945 multi-exposure photographic portrait taken by her close artist friend, Richard Pousette-Dart. Some of the paintings may be enlarged by clicking on titles. The paintings reveal the great influences of Jackson Pollock, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, and Richard Pousette-Dart. They also reveal Michael West's originality. For example, Jackson Pollock's "Energy Made Visible" concept was absorbed by West and given a new life. This is a crucial tenet in her work. Like a phoenix, her work comes to life.

Please continue by clicking on the CATALOGUES, REFERENCE, & BOOKS link. The art scholar Dore Ashton has written a beautiful essay in one of the exhibition catalogs. There is also a limited edition portfolio of Michael West's poetry and art. Here you will also find a link to many other art books which include Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Jackson Pollock, Richard Pousette-Dart, books by Dore Ashton, books on Gorky like the new one by Hayden Herrera, subjects like Abstract Art, Surrealism, and the New York School for sale.

Scholars can make an appointment to see the archives. Please contact us. Please note that we are interested in exhibiting West's work. There are many possibilities for interesting and educational exhibitions. The public should become aware of such an exciting art innovator. Great art breathes, and her work operates on numerous levels. Because her oils are layered and appear to conceal, instead, new worlds are created. This is part of her painting philosophy. WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

THANK YOU,

STUART FRIEDMAN, DIRECTOR OF THE NY SCHOOL ART GALLERY

The Gorky Connection

c1936 photograph of Arshile Gorky given by him to Michael West in 1936.

Pen and ink of West by Arshile Gorky, c. 1935

(on page of 1934 Wadsworth Atheneum Picasso exhibition catalog)

After the end of Arshile Gorky's marriage to Marny George, Gorky met Corinne (birth name) West. West was attending Hans Hofmann's first art classes at the Art Student League, NY, after he immigrated to America. The class monitor, Lorenzo Santillo was living in Gorky's Union Square Studio and introduced Gorky to West. Michael West at first refused to meet another "maestro". Hans Hofmann was all she could take. However, Santillo insisted. She made her way to Arshile Gorky's Union Square Studio where she saw, pinned to the wall and positioned low, his masterpiece drawings, Nightime, Enigma, and Nostalgia. West thought to herself, "Memling done Abstract!" Michael West became the protege and sweetheart of Arshile Gorky.

All the intelligentsia were there that evening: the Janis's, Schwabachers, Muschenheims, Guggenheims and the Metzger's. Also two artists - Isamu Noguchi and Stuart Davis. Gorky seeing that she was uncomfortable, made her feel at ease with his charm. From then on they saw each other on and off for years. He also visited Corinne in Rochester where she maintained a studio (she would stay at both locations - her Greenwich Village apartment and Rochester studio).

They were infatuated with each other and art. Art and the eternal quality is all we are seeking - leave direction to the directors. This tremendous love of art is where our identities coincided. I came from a long line of Christian ministers - the family name was Westerman. Gorky came from a long line of Russian and Armenian priests. We were both children of God - ingrained, hereditarily speaking. This tremendous sacred feeling for life - or overwhelming feeling (by some considered irrational) was in truth -hysterical holiness. We were humble poets seeking a sensible way to direct our energies. Behind these gigantic energies was a time bomb or total apathy - opposites, yes. Here was the battleground on which we were to fight out our lives. He, succeeded but was forced to take his own life - I dragged on thru countless grey halls - always ending up contemplating -the beauty of some particular object, in a state of uphoric joy."

Gorky said I had a quality in my work he hadn't seen in anyone else. He and I decided to change my name. We both decided on the name Mikael or Michael." *From West's 1977 Notes on Art notebook. Please refer to the book, Arshile Gorky His Life and Work by Hayden Herrera (Author of Frida). There is a chapter titled Corinne, (Michael Corinne West) which explains their relationship in more detail.

The Notorious Gorky Love Letters

Fascinating, poignant love letters were written to Corinne while she was working at her Rochester Studio. Arshile Gorky couldn't bear to be without her! He visited her -and took the train to Rochester, NY to visit with West. They planned to marry but changed their minds at least 6 times. Thus there were many letters back and forth. Arshile sometimes used the exact phrases that he culled from the Surrealist writer/artist Andre Breton, the sculptor Gaudier Breszka, and others. After seeing her work he said, "Corinne, your work is like no other American painter."

Please see Arshile Gorky by Ethel Schwabacher for an in depth study of the loveletters.

We hope you will communicate with us, buy some West catalogs, paintings, and make inquiries. Please use our guestbook and also email with any questions. Please be aware that this is a work in progress and additions are constantly being made. We safeguard the Michael West archives and hope to communicate and disseminate to the public as much information from them as possible; on the DECADES Link, there is a CHRONOLOGY. On the Books Link there is EXHIBITION INFORMATION and a BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Contact Form

Stuart Friedman

stuartfriedman9@gmail.com

(914)245-8829

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