Exposition Art Blog: Corinne Michelle West - Action Painting

Corinne Michelle West - Action Painting


 Corinne Michelle West (1908–1991) was an American painter; she also used the names Mikael and Michael West.She was an Abstract Expressionist.West was born in Ohio. She attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music before moving to the Cincinnati Art Academy in 1925.She moved to New York in 1932. She was Arshile Gorky's muse and probably his lover, although she refused to marry him when he proposed several times.She graduated from the Cincinnati Art Academy in 1930. After graduating and leaving the teachings of Hofmann, in 1934, West began studying under Raphael Soyer.In 1936 she had her first solo exhibition, at the Rochester Art Club; Also in 1936, she had begun to go by Mikael to obtain better opportunities, and after Arshile Gorky told her that the name "Corinne" sounded like that of a "debutante's daughter." Gorky suggestion however, is based on a real prejudice against women in the art world, such as with George Sand and George Elliot.In 1941 she began to use the name Michael, which she used in her regular life as well as her painting.She exhibited in Manhattan's prestigious Stable Gallery in 1953, and had a solo show in 1957 at the Uptown Gallery in New York City. In 1958 she had a one-woman show at the Domino Gallery in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.She also wrote poems; she wrote a series of 50 poems in the 1940s, including the poem The New Art in 1942. Later in 1968 she created a series of poem-paintings related to the Vietnam war.She was married briefly to Randolph Nelson in the 1930s, and in 1948 she married filmmaker Francis Lee, but they divorced in 1960.
The first major West Coast exhibit of her work was held posthumously at Art Resource Group's Newport Beach, California gallery in 2010.Wikipedia


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