LONDON — In a personal journey into a family tragedy, filmmaker-director Cosima Spender explores how she and her relatives have been shaped by her grandfather – the pioneering Abstract Expressionist painter, Arshile Gorky. Following a series of tragedies, he committed suicide in 1948, leaving a young wife and two daughters behind.
Through conversations with her grandmother, Gorky’s widow, Spender tries to make sense of his creativity, the reasons for his death and the shadow it subsequently cast. The film takes the viewer through the pain and courage of the family, coming to an emotional climax in Gorky’s Armenian birthplace.
The film titled “Who Is Gorky? An Abstract Life” was screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art last month.