Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Catalogue Entry

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Photo: Peter Schälchli
Inscription on the upper stretcher bar
P078
Composition No. 3
c. 1929–30
Oil on canvas
33 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. (85.1 x 59.7 cm)
Front not inscribed
Reverse, upper stretcher bar, center: ↑ TOP 1929. A. Gorky
Private collection
Exhibitions
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Abstract Painting in America, February 12–March 22, 1935, no. 48, as Composition No. 3.
Literature
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. 35, 39, 43, as "Composition."
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. 78, ill. in b/w, pp. 205–206, as "Composition."
Beredjiklian, Alexandre. Arshile Gorky: sept thèmes majeurs. Suresnes, France: Alphamédian & Johanet; Lisbon: Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, 2007. Monograph, discussed p. 24, as "Composition."
Notes
The inscription on the upper stretcher bar is known from a photograph provided by the owner.

Commentary

Gorky often backdated his paintings and also frequently reworked the same canvas over many years. Here, the date inscribed on the original upper stretcher bar, "1929," likely refers to the former scenario. It is also possible that Gorky reused an existing stretcher, which he is known to have done, especially as a cost-saving measure. Stylistically, it is more likely that the painting was completed c. 1929–30.

Related Work
(Untitled), c. 1929–30, D0116
c. 1929–30
Ink and ink wash on paper
D0116
Ink and ink wash on paper