Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Photo: The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY
P010
(Self-Portrait)
1926–27
Oil on canvas
19 1/2 x 14 1/4 in. (49.5 x 36.2 cm)
Front not inscribed
Reverse not seen
Exhibitions
Pasadena Art Museum, California, Paintings and Drawings by Arshile Gorky, January 5–February 2, 1958.
Laguna Beach Art Association, California, [unknown title], April 2–May 1, 1966, ill., as "Self-Portrait," dated 1928.
University Art Museum, University of Texas at Austin, Arshile Gorky: Drawings to Paintings, October 12–November 23, 1975 (Exhibition catalogue: University of Texas at Austin 1975), p. 103, as "Self Portrait," dated 1927–28. Traveled to: San Francisco Museum of Art, December 4, 1975–January 12, 1976; Neuberger Museum, Purchase College, State University of New York, February 10–March 14, 1976; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York, April 4–May 9, 1976.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective, April 24–July 19, 1981, no. 9, ill. in b/w, p. 69, as "Self-Portrait," dated c. 1928–31. Traveled to: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, September 11–November 8, 1981; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 3, 1981–February 28, 1982.
Literature
Barlow, Jarvis. "Paintings by Arshile Gorky at Art Museum." Independent, Star-News (Pasadena, CA), January 12, 1958, ill. in b/w, p. 10, as "Self-Portrait."
Langsner, Jules. "Gorky: Myth vs. Reality." Artnews (New York) 56 (February 1958), ill. in b/w, p. 47, as "Self-Portrait."
C.S.S. [Cathy S. Silver]. "Gorky, When the Going Was Rough." ARTnews (New York) 62, no. 2 (April 1963), discussed p. 61, as "a penetratingly Cézannesque self-portrait in oil, 1926–27."
Herrera, Hayden. "The Artist's Self Image: Self Portraits by Arshile Gorky." In Arshile Gorky: Drawings to Paintings. Austin: University of Texas at Austin, 1975. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 3, ill. in b/w, p. 45, as "Self-Portrait," dated c. 1928–31.
Herrera, Hayden. "Gorky's Self Portraits: The Artist by Himself." Art in America (New York) 64 (March–April 1976), fig. 4, ill. in b/w, p. 58, as "Self-Portrait."
Waldman, Diane. "Arshile Gorky: Poet in Paint." In Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in collaboration with The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1981. Exhibition catalogue, discussed p. 20, as "Self-Portrait."
Karp, Diane. "Arshile Gorky: The Language of Art." Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1982, fig. 5, ill. in b/w, p. 173, as "Self Portrait."
Jordan, Jim M. "The Paintings of Arshile Gorky: New Discoveries, New Sources, and Chronology." In The Paintings of Arshile Gorky: A Critical Catalogue, by Jim M. Jordan and Robert Goldwater. New York and London: New York University Press, 1982, discussed pp. 20–22, as "Self Portrait."
Jordan, Jim M. "Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings." In The Paintings of Arshile Gorky: A Critical Catalogue, by Jim M. Jordan and Robert Goldwater. New York and London: New York University Press, 1982, no. 10, ill. in b/w, pp. 135–36, as "Self Portrait."
Corrin, Lisa. "Toward Armenia: Notes of a Journey." In Arshile Gorky: 1904–1948. London: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1990. Exhibition catalogue, ill. in b/w, p. 167, as "Self Portrait."
Ades, Dawn. Surrealist Art: The Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. Margherita Andreotti, ed. Chicago and New York: Art Institute of Chicago and Thames and Hudson, 1997, fig. 72, ill. in color, p. 140, as "Self-Portrait."
Venn, Beth and Adam D. Weinberg. Frames of Reference: Looking at American Art, 1900–1950: Works from the Whitney Museum of American Art. New York and Berkeley: Whitney Museum of American Art and University of California Press, 1999, ill. in color, p. 77, as "Self-Portrait."
Herrera, Hayden. Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003, fig. 68, ill. in b/w, as "Self-Portrait."
Dervaux, Isabelle. "Arshile Gorky (1904–1948)." In Cézanne and American Modernism. New Haven: Yale University Press in association with the Montclair Art Museum and The Baltimore Museum of Art, 2009. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 1, ill. in color, p. 208, as "Self-Portrait."
Notes
The reverse is covered by a backing board; no documentation of the reverse of the original canvas has been made available.
On loan: Art Institute of Chicago, 1991–September 12, 2018.

Commentary

In an interview published in the September 15, 1926, edition of the New York Evening Post, Gorky praised modern art and named Paul Cezanne (1839–1906), Henri Matisse (1869–1954), and Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) as "greater artists than the old masters."1 Of these, he continued, "Cézanne is the greatest artist, shall I say, that has lived."2 A number of Gorky's early paintings convey his intense study of Cezanne, including this self-portrait. 

The painting was a gift to the Swiss-American artist Hans Burkhardt (1904–1994), who immigrated to the United States in 1924. Burkhardt began taking lessons with Gorky at the Grand Central School of Art in New York in 1928 and studied privately with the artist from 1929 until around 1937, with a brief hiatus between 1931 and 1934.3 Around May 1937, Burkhardt moved to California, where he remained for the rest of his life. 

1. "Fetish of Antique Stifles Art Here, Says Gorky Kin," New York Evening Post (September 15, 1926): 17.

2. Ibid.

3. Burkhardt provided conflicting accounts of this history and its timeline. See: Letter from Hans Burkhardt to Ethel K. Schwabacher, May 10, 1949, Arshile Gorky Research Collection (1936-1993), Francis Mulhall Achilles Library, Archives, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hans Burkhardt, interview by Paul J. Karlstrom, November 25, 1974, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

After works by other artists: Cézanne

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