Black Angel by Nouritza Matossian, and thoughts over yoghurt soup


In Hayden Herrera's biography about Arshile Gorky, there were several mentions of yoghurt soup that whetted my appetite. Yesterday, when I walked into the house after a long day at work, a sweet smell of peppermint and butter welcomed me home. As if she read my mind, my mom, who is with us for the holidays, had made us yoghurt soup! I enjoyed every drop of it, and thought often about Gorky, how he must have missed it from time to time as well. Again I felt a bit sad for the fact that in Turkey there are not many resources about Gorky. The icy cold wall of genocide denial is standing between two people that could get along so well otherwise...

Nouritza Matossian's book (Black Angel) comes to the rescue at this point. Reading the introduction, I learned that it was Hrant Dink who was the driving force behind this book getting translated into Turkish and getting it published. Since she is an Armenian, and has done 20 years of research before writing this book, I have high expectations. Moreover the introduction and the first chapters have already made a good impression on me. One image especially got stuck in my head: Matossian projecting an enlarged image of an Armenian Bible illumination onto the walls of her room and seeing the shapes morph into Gorky's organic forms from his paintings. 

If I hadn't received Herrera's book as a gift, Black Angel was going to sit in my bookshelf for much longer, who knows when I would pick it up. I think these two books will compliment one another. Both writers have different starting points and views on Gorky. I think Herrera covers the American side of Gorky and his impact on American art very well. I expect Matossian to cover his Armenian roots and background in a much better way. I am lucky to have both books in my library. 

I like sketching before I go to bed. It helps me unwind after a tiring day and rearrange my thoughts before I go to sleep. Today I made an abstract sketch with my new gouache set with the inspiration I got from Gorky. I think I will continue with abstractions for a while. It helps me think more about composition and Herrera's book gave me a lot to think about in terms of color, line and forms.


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