Mechanics of Flying
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Gorky’s composition is filled with abstract shapes with indistinct references to aircraft machinery most clear in the centre of the piece. The colour scheme is limited to an ochre background, a navy and lighter blue, a terracotta and brighter red, and the greys and blacks of the machinery. The abstraction of the shapes in the painting could be symbolic of a wonderment the artist feels at the complexity of air travel. Emigrating to America in 1920 as a consequence of the Armenian Genocide, Gorky would have been travelling to a much more commercialised society with newly popular commercial aviation being one of America’s booming industries.