Emma Welty "After Arshille Gorky (How My Mother’s Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life, 1944)"
Pile rug handwoven by Emma Welty using various heirloom yarn as a woven interpretation of Arshille Gorky's painting How My Mother’s Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life.
The material in this carpet came from yarn stashes of three generations of matriarchs which Welty had inherited over the years. "A lot of it came from a great-grandmother who recently passed so I was processing her color palette which included a lot more saturated colors than I normally work with. The colors in her collection ended up relating quite well to Gorky's painting, which is titled according to his mother and her familiar textile."
Arshile Gorky was an Armenian-American painter and a seminal artist in the abstract expressionism movement. How My Mother’s Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life, was completed in 1944, the year of his greatest artistic breakthrough, when he declared, “I shall resurrect Armenia with my brush for all the world to see.” It is derived from a 1912 photograph of the artist in his youth alongside his mother who is wearing an embroidered apron of stylized leaves and flowers and whose patterns foreshadow Gorky’s style of creating abstract forms from nature. “My Mother told me stories while I pressed my face into her long apron with my eyes closed. All my life her stories and her embroidery kept unraveling pictures in my memory.”