84
84

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Arshile Gorky
UNTITLED
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 137,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
84

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Arshile Gorky
UNTITLED
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 137,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Surrealist Art Evening Sale

|
London

Arshile Gorky
1904 - 1948
UNTITLED

This work is recorded in the archives of the Arshile Gorky Foundation as number P380.

Provenance

Agnes ‘Mougouch’ Fielding (the artist’s widow)

World House Galleries, New York

Mrs Ursula Corning, New York

Joan Washburn Gallery, New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Rome, Galleria del Obelisco, Arshile Gorky, 1957

Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano, Dada e surrealismo riscoperti, 2009, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Saint-Louis, Espace d'Art Contemporain Fernet-Branca, Chassé-croisé Dada-Surréaliste 1916-1969, 2012, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Literature

Georges Sebbag, Memorabilia: constellations inaperçues: Dada & Surréalisme 1916-1970, Paris, 2010, illustrated in colour p. 93

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1948, Untitled is a remarkable example of the lyrical use of colour and line that defines Gorky’s mature work. Whilst the early part of his career had been characterised by his remarkable ability to impersonate and assimilate the style of others – most notably Cézanne and Picasso – by the 1940s Gorky had developed a distinctive personal aesthetic. This was in part due to his growing awareness of Surrealism and his subsequent interest in automatic process and free association of thought. He began to look back to his childhood in Armenia, using his memories of that time as the starting point for the panoply of invented creatures, forms and colours that began to populate his work. His formal developments were influenced by both Joan Miró’s revolutionary approach to colour and line and the indefinite, phantasmagorical landscapes of Roberto Matta’s canvases.

These stylistic developments are eloquently expressed in the present canvas which forges a delicate balance between the biomorphic configurations of line and colour and the abstract sea of paint in which they float. This singular approach, which was still gaining momentum at the point when Gorky tragically took his own life, was to have a significant impact on the history of American art in the twentieth century. As John Golding explains, ‘By evolving a type of composition in which the picture surface becomes a field over which the painter ranges freely back and forth, and in which occasionally pockets of interest and complexity occur, but in which there is no one centre of focus or interest, Gorky was making one of his most important contributions to emergent revolutionary American art – towards what American painters of the 1940s used to call an ‘over-all’ type of painting’ (J. Golding in Arshile Gorky (exhibition catalogue), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1990, p. 23).

Surrealist Art Evening Sale

|
London