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Michael Corrine West

American, 1908-1991


Curating Works


Corrine Michele West was born in Chicago in 1908. She attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music before moving to the Cincinnati Art Academy in 1925. West graduated from the Cincinnati Art Academy in 1930. West moved to New York in 1932 and she was Arshile Gorky's muse and probably his lover, although she refused to marry him when he proposed several times. West studied under Hofmann, however 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." In 1941, she began to use the name Michael, which she used in her regular life as well as her painting. West was married briefly to Randolph Nelson in the 1930s, and in 1948 she married filmmaker Francis Lee, but they divorced in 1960. West was also intimately involved with Richard Pousette-Dart as well. West 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, DC. Michael Corrine West is an extremely important female artist who was also a  member of the Club. Her works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum, Westmoreland Museum, Rockwell Museum, and were exhibited at the Pollock-Krasner House.