Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Tom Loonan and Brenda Bieger; © Estate of Arshile Gorky / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image courtesy Albright-Knox Art Gallery
P281
The Liver is the Coxcomb
1944
Oil on canvas
73 1/4 x 98 3/8 in. (186.1 x 249.9 cm)
Front, upper left: A. Gorky / [paraph] / 44
Reverse not seen
Exhibitions
Sidney Janis (organizer), Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York, Abstract and Surrealist Art in America: Fifty Paintings by Outstanding Artists, November 29–December 30, 1944, no. 31, as "Painting" (unconfirmed).
Galerie Maeght, Paris, Le Surréalisme en 1947: Éxposition Internationale du Surréalisme présentée par André Breton et Marcel Duchamp, July 7–September 30, 1947.
Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky, 1905–1948, November 16–December 4, 1948, no. 3, as The Liver is the Coxcomb.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Arshile Gorky Memorial Exhibition, January 5–February 18, 1951, no. 33, ill. in b/w, p. 31, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb" (exhibited in New York only). Traveled to: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, March 4–April 22, 1951; San Francisco Museum of Art, California, May 9–July 9, 1951.
Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, Arshile Gorky: A Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings, October 6–26, 1952, no. 10, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky in the Final Years, February 16–March 14, 1953, no. 5, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 9 American Painters Today, January 4–23, 1954, as The Liver is the Coxcomb.
Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, Contemporary Art Acquisitions 1954–1957, May 15–June 15, 1957, no. 6, ill. in b/w, p. 20, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Cleveland Museum of Art, Some Contemporary Works of Art, November 11–December 31, 1958, no. 20, ill. in b/w, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Documenta II, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, II. Documenta '59: Kunst nach 1945, July 11–October 11, 1959, no. 2, p. 184, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Bennington College, Vermont, Surrealist Art: an Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, 1913–1946, April 7–29, 1960, no. 14, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Cullinan Hall, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, From Gauguin to Gorky, October 20–December 11, 1960, no. 25, ill. in b/w, pp. 22–23.
Carnegie Institute, Department of Fine Arts, Pittsburgh, Paintings from the Albright Knox Art Gallery, January 10–February 19, 1961, no. 15.
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, Paintings and Sculpture from the Albright Art Gallery, April 27–September 3, 1961, no. 26, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
XXXI Biennale di Venezia: Internazionale d'Arte, U.S. Pavillion, Venice, Italy, Arshile Gorky, June 16–October 7, 1962, no. 13, p. 114, as "Il fegato è la cresta del gallo."
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Arshile Gorky, 1904–1948, December 19, 1962–February 12, 1963, no. 68, ill. in color, pp. 32–33, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb." Traveled to: Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, D.C, March 12–April 14, 1963.
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Four Centuries of American Art, November 27, 1963–January 19, 1964, ill. in b/w, p. 46, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
City Art Museum of Saint Louis, 200 Years of American Painting, April 1–May 31, 1964, ill. in b/w, p. 51, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Arts Council of Great Britain (organizer), Tate Gallery, London, Arshile Gorky, Paintings and Drawings, 1965, no. 53, ill. in color, London frontispiece, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb," [London: no. 53, ill. in color; Rotterdam: no. 69, ill. in color as "De lever is de hanekam"]. Traveled to: Tate Gallery, London, April 2–May 2, 1965; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, May 22–June 27, 1965; Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, July 24–September 5, 1965. (Museum Boymans van Beuingen 1965)..
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Art of the United States 1670–1966, September 28–November 27, 1966, no. 108, ill. in color, p. 124, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
M. Knoedler et Cie, Paris, Six peintres américains: Arshile Gorky, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, October 19–November 25, 1967, ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage, March 27–June 9, 1968 (Exhibition catalogue: Rubin 1967), no. 137, ill. in b/w, fig. 265, p. 172, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb," [Chicago: no. 137, ill. in b/w, p. 172]. Traveled to: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, July 16–September 8, 1968; Art Institute of Chicago, October 19–December 8, 1968.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, Paintings from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, May 19–July 21, 1968, ill. in color, p. 49, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Pasadena Art Museum, California, Painting in New York: 1944 to 1969, November 24, 1969–January 11, 1970, no. 1, ill. in b/w, p. 20, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, Abstract Expressionism: The First and Second Generations in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, January 19–February 20, 1972, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (organized in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years, March 30–May 14, 1978 (Exhibition catalogue: Hobbs and Levin 1978); (Exhibition catalogue: Levin 1978a); (Exhibition catalogue: Levin 1978b), as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb." Traveled to: Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, June 17–July 12, 1978; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 5–December 3, 1978.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective, April 24–July 19, 1981, no. 161, ill. in color, p. 189, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb." Traveled to: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, September 11–November 8, 1981; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 3, 1981–February 28, 1982.
Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927–1944, November 5–December 31, 1983, ill. in b/w, fig. 14, p. 156, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb" (not exhibited). Traveled to: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, January 26–March 25, 1984; Minneapolis Institute of Art, April 15–June 3, 1984; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, June 28–September 9, 1984.
Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, In Quest of Excellence: Civic Pride, Patronage, Connoisseurship, January 14–April 22, 1984, no. 187, ill. in b/w, p. 55, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments, September 19–November 29, 1987, no. 6, ill. in color, p. 172, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (organizers), Arshile Gorky: The Breakthrough Years, 1995–96, no. 6, ill. in color, p. 101; ill. in color, p. 65, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb." Traveled to: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, May 7–September 17, 1995; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, October 13–December 31, 1995; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, January 13–March 17, 1996.
Jewish Museum, New York, Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940–1976, May 4–September 21, 2008, ill. in color, pl. 4, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb." Traveled to: Saint Louis Art Museum, October 19, 2008–January 11, 2009; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, February 13–May 31, 2009.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, October 15, 2009–January 10, 2010, no. 114, ill. in color, p. 275, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb." Traveled to: Tate Modern, London, February 10–May 3, 2010. (Gale 2010).; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, June 6–September 20, 2010.
Ca'Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice, Italy, Arshile Gorky: 1904–1948, May 8–September 22, 2019, ill. in color, p. 113, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Literature
Coates, Robert M. "The Art Galleries." The New Yorker 20, no. 43 (December 9, 1944), discussed p. 99, as "Painting" (unconfirmed).
Janis, Sidney. Abstract and Surrealist Art in America. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1944, fig. 85, ill. in b/w, p. 120, as The Liver is the Coxcomb, Collection the artist.
Tyler, Parker. "The Limit of the Probable in Modern Painting." View (New York) 5, no. 1 (March 1945), discussed p. 41, as "The Liver and the Coxcomb."
"Reviews and Previews: Arshile Gorky." Artnews (New York) 47 (December 1948), ill. in b/w, p. 54, as "Gorky's 1944 abstraction."
de Kooning, Elaine. "Gorky: Painter of his Own Legend." Artnews (New York) 49, no. 9 (January 1951), ill. in b/w, p. 41, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Goodrich, Lloyd. "Eight Works by Arshile Gorky with Notes by Lloyd Goodrich." Magazine of Art (Washington, D.C.) 44 (February 1951), ill. in b/w, p. 60, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Loftus, John. "Arshile Gorky: A Monograph." M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, New York, 1952, pl. XXV, ill. in b/w, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Seitz, William C. "A Gorky Exhibit." The Daily Princetonian (Princeton, NJ), October 14, 1952, discussed p. 2, as "The Liver Is a Cock's Comb."
Coates, Robert M. "The Art Galleries." The New Yorker 29 (February 28, 1953), discussed p. 83, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Fitzsimmons, James. "The Late Gorky." Art Digest (New York) 27 (March 1, 1953), discussed p. 16, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Krasne, Belle. "New York: Nine American Painters, Nine American Worlds." Art Digest (New York) 28, no. 8 (January 15, 1954), ill. in b/w, p. 11, as The Liver is the Coxcomb.
Mooradian, Karlen. "Arshile Gorky." Armenian Review (Watertown, MA) 8, no. 2 (Summer 1955), discussed p. 57, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Goodrich, Lloyd. "Arshile Gorky." In New Art in America, John I.H. Baur, ed. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1957, ill. in color, p. 189, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Schwabacher, Ethel. Arshile Gorky. New York: The Macmillan Company for the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1957. Monograph, pl. III, ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
33 Paintings by Arshile Gorky. New York: Sidney Janis Gallery, 1957. Exhibition catalogue (1957e New York), no. 12, ill. in b/w, as "The Liver is the Cockscomb."
Smith, Gordon M. "The Brave Buffalo." Artnews (New York) 56, no. 3 (May 1957), ill. in b/w, p. 32, as "The Liver Is a Cock's Comb."
10th Anniversary Exhibition. New York: Sidney Janis Gallery, 1958. Exhibition catalogue, no. 69, ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Rubin, William. "The New York School—Then and Now: Part I." Art International (Paris) 2, nos. 2–3 (March–April 1958), discussed p. 25, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Jean, Marcel. The History of Surrealist Painting. Translated by Simon W. Taylor. London: George Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd, 1960, ill. in b/w, p. 329, as The Liver is the Coxcomb.
Barilli, Renato. "La Pittura di Arshile Gorky." La Biennale 43 (April–June 1961), ill. in b/w, p. 15, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Reiff, Robert F. "A Stylistic Analysis of Arshile Gorky's Art from 1943–1948." Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, New York, 1961, fig. 20, ill. in b/w, p. 298, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Rosenberg, Harold. "Arshile Gorky, His Art and His Influence." Portfolio & Artnews Annual (New York), no. 5 (1961), ill. in color, p. 111, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Rosenberg, Harold. Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea. New York: Horizon Press, 1962. Monograph, ill. in color, pp. 18–19, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Kiplinger, Suzanne. "Arshile Gorky." The Village Voice (New York), January 3, 1963, discussed p. 9, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Kramer, Hilton. "Art." The Nation (New York) 196 (January 12, 1963), discussed p. 39, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Rubin, William. "Arshile Gorky, Surrealism, and the New American Painting." Art International (Paris) 7, no. 2 (February 25, 1963), ill. in b/w, p. 33, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Reiff, Robert. "The Late Works of Arshile Gorky: A Critical Estimate." Art Journal (New York) 22, no. 3 (Spring 1963), fig. 1, ill. in b/w, p. 150, discussed pp. 149–50, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Ashton, Dore. "New York." Das Kunstwerk (Stuttgart, Germany) 16, no. 10 (April 1963), discussed p. 31, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Ashton, Dore. "La voix du tourbillon dans l'Amérique de Kafka." XXe siècle (Paris) nouvelle série, XXVIe année (May 1964), ill. in b/w, p. 92, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Hoyland, Francis. "The composer." The Listener (London) (April 15, 1965), discussed, p. 568, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Leider, Philip. "The New York School in Los Angeles." Artforum (New York) 4 (September 1965), discussed p. 8, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
"From Our Art Critic." "Tate Shows First British Exhibition of Arshile Gorky." [unidentified newspaper], c. April 1965, discussed, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Levy, Julien. Arshile Gorky. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1966. Monograph, pl. 95, ill. in color, p. 119, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Messer, Thomas M. "Kandinsky en Amérique." XXe siècle (Paris) 26 (December 1966), ill. in b/w, p. 117, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Rose, Barbara. American Art Since 1900: A Critical History. New York & Washington: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1967, fig. 6–18, ill., p. 171, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Rubin, William. Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1967. Exhibition catalogue (1968b New York), no. 137, ill. in b/w, p. 172, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Christensen, Erwin O. A Guide to Art Museums in the United States. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1968, fig. 230, ill. in b/w, p. 103, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Passeron, René. Histoire de la peinture surréaliste. Paris: Librairie Le Livre de Poche, 1968, fig. 139, ill. in b/w, p. 244, as "Le Foie est la crête du coq."
Rubin, William S. Dada and Surrealist Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1968, pl. LVII, ill. in color, p. 403, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Alexandrian, Sarane. L'art surréaliste. Paris: Fernand Hazan, 1969, fig. 176, ill. in b/w, p. 175, as "Le Foie est la crête du coq."
Alexandrian, Sarane. Surrealist Art. New York and Washington, D.C.: Praeger Publishers, 1970, fig. 175, ill. in b/w, p. 175, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Sandler, Irving H. The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, fig. 3–14, ill. in b/w, p. 57, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. New York School: the First Generation, Paintings of the 1940s and 1950s. Forward by Maurice Tuchman. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1971 (1965b Los Angeles), fig. 27, ill. in b/w, p. 62, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Breton, André. Surrealism and Painting. Translated by Simon Watson Taylor. New York, Evanston, San Francisco, London: Icon Editions, Harper & Row, Publishers, 1972, ill. in b/w, p. 199, as The Liver is the Coxcomb.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Contemporary Art, 1942–72: Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. New York: Prager, 1973, ill. in color, p. 24, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Hunter, Sam. American Art of the Twentieth Century. With sections on architecture by John Jacobus. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1972, 1973, pl. 386, ill. in color, p. 214, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Calas, Nicolas. "A Tough Nut to Crack." Artforum (New York) 13 (May 1975), ill. in b/w, p. 48, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Jordan, Jim. M. "Arshile Gorky at Crooked Run Farm." Arts Magazine (New York) 50, no. 7 (March 1976), discussed p. 100, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Kagitani, Y. "Arshile Gorky: A Man Who Lived in the Middle of Solitude." Mizue (Tokyo) 9, no. 858 (September 1976), ill. in color, p. 27.
Karp, Diane. "Arshile Gorky's Iconography." Arts Magazine (New York) 50, no. 7 (March 1976), discussed p. 84.
Reiff, Robert. "Arshile Gorky's Object Matter." Arts Magazine (New York) 50, no. 7 (March 1976), ill. in b/w, p. 92, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Hobbs, Robert C. and Gail Levin. Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 1978. Exhibition catalogue (1978 Ithaca), ill. in color, cover (second edition only), as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Pohribny, Arsén. Abstrakte Malerei. Freiburg, Basel, Wien: Herder, 1978, no. 45, ill. in color, p. 79, as "Die Leber ist der Hahnenkamm."
Rathbone, Eliza E. "Arshile Gorky: The Plow and the Song." In American Art at Mid-Century: The Subjects of the Artist. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1978. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 21, ill. in b/w, p. 73, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Levin, Gail. "Arshile Gorky (1904–1948)." In Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 1978. Exhibition catalogue (1978 Ithaca), fig. 62, ill. in b/w, p. 71, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Brown, Milton W., Sam Hunter, et al. American Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Decorative Arts, Photography. Theresa C. Brakeley. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1979, ill. in b/w, p. 479, pl. 520, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Pohribny, Arsén. Abstract Painting. Oxford and New York: Phaidon Press Limited and E.P. Dutton, 1979, no. 45, ill. in color, p. 79, as The Liver is the Coxcomb.
Schwartz, Ellen. "The birth of Abstract Expressionism." Artnews (New York) 78, no. 1 (January 1979), ill. in b/w, p. 78, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Rand, Harry. Arshile Gorky: The Implication of Symbols. London and Montclair, N.J.: George Prior and Allanheld & Schram, 1980, 1981. Monograph, fig. 12–8, ill. in b/w, p. 185, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Brach, Paul. "Gorky's Secret Garden." Art in America (New York) 69, no. 8 (October 1981), ill. in color, p. 125, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Danelutti, Luigi. "Dipingere a New York." Il Piccolo Illustrato (Trieste) (June 20, 1981), ill. in b/w (upside down), as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb," "El hígado es el nido del gallo."
Freedman, Adele. "An Artist's Descent into Death: Gorky's Early Years Were Chaotic, His Later Ones Were Even Worse." The Globe and Mail (Toronto), June 9, 1981, discussed p. 15, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Giachetti, Romano. Il segreto di Achille. La Republica (Rome), May 30, 1981, ill. in b/w, p. 18, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Hughes, Robert. "Art: The Triumph of Achilles the Bitter." Time (New York) 117, no. 19 (May 11, 1981), ill. in color, p. 81, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Jordan, Jim M. "Gorky at the Guggenheim." Art Journal (New York) 41, no. 3 (Fall 1981), fig. 19, ill. in b/w, p. 263, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Kutner, Janet. "Talented, Tormented Artist Honored." Dallas Morning News, July 19, 1981.
Lynch, Kevin. "Gorky Show a Saga of Life and Art." The Milwaukee Journal, June 21, 1981, ill. in b/w, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Mills, James. "New York, London Treasure-Troves of Art." The Sunday Denver Post, May 31, 1981, ill. in b/w, p. 77, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Morgan, S. "Becoming Arshile Gorky." Artscribe (London), no. 31 (October 1981), ill. in b/w, p. 21, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Ratcliff, Carter. "Gorky's Search." Saturday Review (New York) (August 1981), ill. in color, p. 67, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Sue, David, and Derald Wing Sue, and Stanley Sue. Understanding Abnormal Behavior. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981, ill. in color, cover, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
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. 53, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Russell, John. "Guggenheim Retrospective Charts Arshile Gorky's Passion for Art." New York Times, April 24, 1981, discussed p. C20, as "The Liver Is a Cock's Comb."
Ashton, Dore. American Art Since 1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982, no. 1, ill. in b/w, p. 17, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Karp, Diane. "Arshile Gorky: The Language of Art." Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1982, fig. 83, ill. in b/w, p. 251, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
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. 281, ill. in b/w, pp. 432–35, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Seitz, William C. Abstract Expressionist Painting in America. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press for the National Gallery of Art, 1983, fig. 70, ill. in color, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Lader, Melvin P. Arshile Gorky. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985. Monograph, fig. 74, ill. in color, p. 79, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Kuspit, Donald. "Arshile Gorky: Images in Support of the Invented Self." In Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987. Exhibition catalogue, discussed p. 61, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Matthews, J.H. "André Breton and Painting: The Case of Arshile Gorky." Dada/Surrealism (Iowa City), no. 17 (1988), ill. in b/w, p. 41, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Waldman, Diane. Willem de Kooning. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1988, fig. 57, ill. in b/w, p. 76, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Wechsler, Jeffrey. "Abstract Expressionism: Other Dimensions: An introduction to small scale painterly abstraction in America, 1940–1965." In Abstract Expressionism: other dimensions: An introduction to small scale painterly abstraction in America, 1940–1965. Rutgers, NJ: The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, 1989. Exhibition catalogue, discussed p. 123, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Hughes, Robert. "Art: The Triumph of Achilles the Bitter." Time (New York) 117, no. 19 (May 11, 1981). In Nothing If Not Critical: Selected Essays on Art and Artists. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990, discussed p. 222–23, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Anfam, David. Abstract Expressionism. New York: Thames & Hudson, 1990, fig. 61, ill. in color, p. 88, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Anfam, David. "Convulsive Images." Art International (Paris) 11 (Summer 1990), discussed p. 100, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Pierre, José. "Arshile Gorky: Le Foie est la crête du coq." In André Breton: la beauté convulsive. Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 1991. Exhibition catalogue, ill. in b/w, p. 367, as "Le Foie est la crête du coq."
Rand, Harry. Arshile Gorky: The Implication of Symbols. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991. Monograph, fig. 12–8, ill. in b/w, p. 208, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Yenawine, Philip. How To Look at Modern Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991, ill. in color, p. 82, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Lader, Melvin P. "Arshile Gorky: A Modern Artist in the Academic Tradition / Arshile Gorky: Un Artista Moderno Nella Tradizione Accademica." In Arshile Gorky: Works on Paper / Opere su Carta. Rome: Edizioni Carte Segrete, 1992. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 10, ill. in b/w, p. 29, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Auping, Michael. "An Erotic Garden." In Arshile Gorky: The Breakthrough Years, Karen Lee Spaulding, ed. Fort Worth, Texas: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in association with Rizzoli, New York, 1995. Exhibition catalogue, ill. in color, p. 65, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb," Also a detail ill. in color on p. 62. Another detail ill. in color on pp. 72, 73.
Bevan, Roger. "Autumnal Gorky." The Art Newspaper (London) 6 (May 1995), discussed p. 13, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Kimmelman, Michael. "A Restless Borrower, and His Own Man." New York Times, May 21 1995, ill. in b/w, p. 33, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Polcari, Stephen. "Baltimore and Buffalo: Arshile Gorky." The Burlington Magazine (London) 137, no. 1111 (October 1995), fig. 67, ill. in b/w, p. 710, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Sawin, Martica. Surrealism in Exile and the Beginning of the New York School. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 1995, ill. in b/w, p. 330, as "The Liver is the Cockscomb."
Weil, Rex. "Arshile Gorky." Artnews (New York) 94 (September 1995), ill. in b/w, p. 147, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Akiskal, Kareen K., and Hagop S. Akiskal. "Abstract Expressionism as Psychobiography: The Life and Suicide of Arshile Gorky." In Depression and the Spiritual in Modern Art: Homage to Miró, Schildkraut, Joseph J. and Aurora Otero, eds. Chichester (U.K.) and New York: John Wiley, 1996, fig. 19–7, ill. in color, p. 232, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
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, discussed p. 144, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Dervaux, Isabelle. "Détail, analogie et mimétisme: De l'inspiration de la nature dans les abstractions de Arshile Gorky." Les Cahiers du Musée National d'Art Moderne (Paris) 65 (Autumn 1998), ill. in b/w, p. 65, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Matossian, Nouritza. "Arshile Gorky's Lost World: A Personal Quest for the Armenian Sources of Gorky's Art." Modern Painters (New York) 11 (Winter 1998), ill. in color , p. 73, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Matossian, Nouritza. Black Angel: The Life of Arshile Gorky. London: Chatto & Windus, 1998, color pl. 7, ill., as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Blistène, Bernard. "États-Unis: de l'expressionnisme abstrait au minimalisme." Beaux Arts Magazine (Paris) 182 (July 1999), ill. in color, p. 83, as "Le Foie est le peigne du coq."
Spender, Matthew. From a High Place: A Life of Arshile Gorky. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1999, ill. in b/w, p. 262, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Karmel, Pepe. "Arshile Gorky: Anatomical Blackboard." Master Drawings (New York) 40 (2002), fig. 9, ill. in color, p. 16, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Herrera, Hayden. Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003, fig. 158, ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Lee, Janie C. "Arshile Gorky: The Power of Drawing." In Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of Drawings. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art and Harry N. Abrams, 2003. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 16, ill. in color, p. 67, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Johnson, Patricia C. "Exhibit Reveals Gorky's Genius: Menil Collection Shows 140 of Artist's Works." Houston Chronicle, March 6, 2004, discussed p. 9D, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Beredjiklian, Alexandre. Arshile Gorky: sept thèmes majeurs. Suresnes, France: Alphamédian & Johanet; Lisbon: Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, 2007. Monograph, discussed p. 71, as "Le Foie est la crête du coq."
Avakian, Florence. "As Arshile Gorky's Prestige Grows, His Armenian Experience Must Not Be Forgotten." The Armenian Reporter (New York), July 5 2008, ill. in b/w, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Budick, Ariella. "Arshile Gorky, Philadelphia Museum of Art." The Financial Times (London), November 2, 2009 (accessed online), ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Cooksey, Chelsea L. "Arshile Gorky: The Abstraction of Symbol, Figure, and Form." M.A. Thesis, Purchase College, State University of New York, 2009, fig. 25, ill. in color (with incorrect caption details), p. 65, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Cotter, Holland. "From Mimic to Master of Invention." New York Times, October 23, 2009, ill. in color, p. 27, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Dabrowski, Colin. "Albright-Knox puts its stamp on new Postal Service series." The Buffalo News (NY), December 29, 2009 (accessed online), discussed, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Funk, Clayton. Contemporary Art Culture. Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2009, ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Lacayo, Richard. "The Shape Shifter." Time (New York) 174, no. 18 (November 9, 2009), ill. in color, p. 60, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Matttison, Robert S. Arshile Gorky: Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafica, 2009. Monograph, ill. in color, p. 84, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Patton, Elizabeth. "Arshile Gorky's Tragic Life, Triumphant Work." Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster New Era (PA), December 23, 2009, ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Sozanski, Edward. "Art: Arshile Gorky: Art and Anguish." Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25 2009, ill. in color (online only), as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Voves, Ed. "Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art." California Literary Review (Carlsbad, CA) (November 9 2009), ill. in color, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Theriault, Kim S. Rethinking Arshile Gorky. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009. Monograph, pl. 17, ill. in color, as "The Liver Is in the Cock's Comb."
Alberro, Alexander. "The Apprenticeship of Arshile Gorky: On Arshile Gorky at the Philadelphia Museum of Art." Texte zur Kunst (Cologne) 77 (March 2010), discussed pp. 149, 212, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Gale, Matthew. Arshile Gorky: Enigma and Nostalgia. London: Tate Publishing, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2009–10 Philadelphia), no. 31, ill. in color, p. 69, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Robbins, Christa Noel. "Harold Rosenberg on the Character of Action." Oxford Art Journal (U.K.) 35, no. 2 (2012), fig. 5, ill. in color, p. 211; discussed pp. 209, 211–13, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Frankenthaler, Helen, et al. Painted on 21st Street: Helen Frankenthaler from 1950 to 1959. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2013. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 4, ill. in color, p. 14, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Merjian, Ara H. "Where is Surrealism? Painted Spaces from Dreamscape to Inscape." In Fields of Dream: The Surrealist Landscape. New York: Di Donna Galleries, 2015. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 30, ill. in color, p. 92, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Devaney, Edith. "Repossessing Nature." In Ardent Nature: Arshile Gorky Landscapes, 1943–47. Zurich: Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2017. Exhibition catalogue, ill. in color, p. 29, as "The Liver is the Cock's Comb."
Robbins, Christa Noel. Artist as Author: Action and Intent in Late-Modernist American Painting. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2021, fig. 1.4, ill. in b/w, p. 36; discussed pp. 34, 37, as "The Liver Is the Cock's Comb."
Notes
The painting was relined and the stretcher bars replaced. No documentation of the reverse of the original canvas has been made available.

Commentary

When the painting was first reproduced, in Sidney Janis’ 1944 book Abstract and Surrealist Art in America, it was titled The Liver is the Coxcomb (Collection of the Artist), and was accompanied by a brief statement by Gorky: "the song of a cardinal, liver, mirrors that have not caught reflection, the aggressively heraldic branches, the saliva of the hungry man whose face is painted with white chalk."1 For this reason, we have titled the work as it was published during Gorky’s lifetime. It should be noted that in 1948, not long after Gorky’s death, Julien Levy Gallery exhibited the work with the title exactly as it had appeared in the 1944 publication, The Liver is the Coxcomb. In 1951, when the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibited the painting in a memorial exhibition of Gorky’s work, the painting somehow acquired the variant title, The Liver is the Cock’s Comb, by which it has become best known. 

In a 1993 interview with Matthew Spender, when discussing Gorky's canvas, Agnes "Mougouch" Gorky (1921–2013) refers to the title in its variant spelling, “cock’s comb": "Color had symbolic value for Gorky. It could itself be a part of the 'world of analogy.' The color yellow, for instance, Gorky associated with courage. He said in his country courage was associated with the liver. The 'cock's comb' was also a visible outward manifestation of courage. . . . All that is missing in the title is the word 'like.' The liver signifies courage, like [sic] the cock's comb."2

"Coxcomb" has more than one meaning. It may allude to a plant known for its fiery red or yellow feathery flowers, the red crest on top of a rooster’s head, a dandy, or a jester’s cap adorned with a red plume resembling that of the rooster’s “comb.” Given Gorky’s range of interests, and his disdain for specificity in interpreting his work, it is easy to see how coxcomb’s multiple meanings would have appealed to him. Evincing this range of interpretations, in an essay written for Gorky's debut solo show at the Julien Levy Gallery in March 1945, the Surrealist poet André Breton (1896–1966) proclaimed that the painting "should be considered the great open door to the analogy world."3

The painting was a gift to the Gorky family's close friend Jean Hebbeln (1914–1956), who had studied sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art in the late 1930s and was introduced to the Gorkys by their mutual friends Serge (1900–1996) and Barbara (1904–2000) Chermayeff.4 Mougouch later recalled that the painting was created in thanks for a significant sum of money Jean had generously given to her and Gorky: "'When I came home with a thousand dollars Gorky couldn't believe it. Our happiness absolutely exploded and then Gorky went and started to paint [P281] as a result of that gift of Jean's. . . . [The gift] wasn't in exchange for a painting, nothing. He was so full of relief. I can't tell you what it is like to always be at the end of your tether. And when Gorky was doing this painting, he said, 'Give it to Jean.' And he gave it to her.'"5

1. Janis requested this description to accompany an illustration of the painting in his forthcoming book: Sidney Janis, Abstract and Surrealist Art in America (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1944), 120. Sidney Janis, interview by Karlen Mooradian, October 7, 1965, Arshile Gorky/Mooradian Archive, Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, New York.

2. Agnes Gorky Fielding, "How Breton and Gorky Worked on Titles," December 22–28, 1993, in Matthew Spender, ed., Arshile Gorky: The Plow and the Song: A Life in Letters and Documents (Zurich: Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2018), 336.

3. André Breton, "The Eye-Spring – Arshile Gorky," Arshile Gorky (New York: Julien Levy Gallery, 1945), n.p., translated from French by Julien Levy; reprinted in Spender, ed., The Plow and the Song, 340.

4. Hayden Herrera, Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003), 437.

5. Agnes Gorky Fielding, as quoted in ibid, 437–38.

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