Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Photo: © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY
P300
Diary of a Seducer
1945
Oil on canvas
50 x 62 in. (127 x 157.5 cm)
Front, lower left: A Gorky / [paraph] / 45
Reverse not seen
Exhibitions
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, November 27, 1945–January 10, 1946, no. 51, as "Journal d'un Seducteur."
Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky: Paintings, April 9–May 4, 1946, no. 12, as Diary of a Seducer, [typed addition to checklist].
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Fourteen Americans, September 10–December 8, 1946 (Exhibition catalogue: Miller 1946), no. 37, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Department of Circulating Exhibitions (organizer), Fourteen Americans, 1947, no. 17, as "The Diary of a Seducer." Traveled to: Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, January 5–26, 1947; Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida, February 7–March 10, 1947; Cincinnati Modern Art Society, March 20–April 17, 1947; San Francisco Museum of Art, May 6–June 1, 1947; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, June 15–30, 1947; Indiana University Art Center Gallery, Bloomington, October 11–18, 1947.
Kootz Gallery, New York, Selected Paintings by the Late Arshile Gorky, March 28–April 24, 1950, ill. in b/w, cover, as Diary of a Seducer.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, American Painting 1950, April 22–June 4, 1950, as Diary of a Seducer.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Arshile Gorky Memorial Exhibition, January 5–February 18, 1951, no. 37, ill. in b/w, p. 36, as Diary of a Seducer. Traveled to: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, March 4–April 22, 1951; San Francisco Museum of Art, California, May 9–July 9, 1951.
Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 12 peintres et sculpteurs américains contemporains, April 24–June 7, 1953, no. 10, as "Journal du Séducteur." Traveled to: Kunsthaus Zurich, July 25–August 30, 1953; Kunstsammlungen der Stadt Düsseldorf, September 20–October 25, 1953; Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, November 24–December 20, 1953; Taidehalli-Konsthallen, Helsinki, January 8–24, 1954; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, February 18–March 7, 1954.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Paintings from Private Collections, May 31–September 7, 1955, p. 11, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Museum of Modern Art, New York, International Council (organizer), The New American Painting, 1958–59, no. 14, as Diary of a Seducer. Traveled to: Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, April 19–May 26, 1958 (as Die neue amerikanische Malerei); Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Milan, June 1–30, 1958 (as La Nuova Pittura Americana); Museum Nacional de Art Contemporaneo, Madrid, July 16–August 11, 1958 (as La Nueva Pintura Americana); Hochschule für Bildende Kunste, Berlin, September 1–October 1, 1958 (as Die neue amerikanische Malerei); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, October 17–November 24, 1958 (as Jong Amerika schildert); Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Brussels, December 6, 1958–January 4, 1959 (as La nouvelle peinture américaine); Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, January 16–February 15, 1959 (as Jackson Pollock et la nouvelle peinture américaine); Tate Gallery, London, February 24–March 22, 1959; Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 28–September 8, 1959; Albany Institute of History and Art, New York, September 25–October 25, 1959 (Only part of the exhibition traveled here as Recent American Painting: 17 Abstract Expressionists).
XXXI Biennale di Venezia: Internazionale d'Arte, U.S. Pavillion, Venice, Italy, Arshile Gorky, June 16–October 7, 1962, no. 16, p. 114, as "Diario di un seduttore."
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Arshile Gorky, 1904–1948, December 19, 1962–February 12, 1963, no. 73, ill. in b/w, p. 2, as "The Diary of a Seducer." Traveled to: Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, D.C, March 12–April 14, 1963.
Arts Council of Great Britain (organizer), Tate Gallery, London, Arshile Gorky, Paintings and Drawings, 1965, no. 66, ill. in b/w, as "The Diary of a Seducer," [London: no. 66, ill. in b/w; Rotterdam: ill, not exhibited]. 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)..
Public Education Association, New York (organizer), Seven Decades, 1895–1965: Crosscurrents in Modern Art, April 16–May 21, 1966, no. 216, ill. in b/w, p. 119, as Diary of a Seducer.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage, March 27–June 9, 1968 (Exhibition catalogue: Rubin 1967), no. 139, ill. in b/w, fig. 271, p. 175, as "The Diary of a Seducer." Traveled to: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, July 16–September 8, 1968; Art Institute of Chicago, October 19–December 8, 1968.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, The New American Painting and Sculpture: The First Generation, June 18–October 5, 1969, no. 21, as Diary of a Seducer.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective, April 24–July 19, 1981, no. 186, ill. in color, p. 211, as Diary of a Seducer. Traveled to: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, September 11–November 8, 1981; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 3, 1981–February 28, 1982.
Centre Georges Pompidou and Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Arshile Gorky: Hommage, April 2–June 4, 2007, ill. in color, p. 66–67, as "Journal d'un séducteur / The Diary of a Seducer." Traveled to: Centre culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, 2007.
Jewish Museum, New York, Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940–1976, May 4–September 21, 2008, ill. in color, pl. 8, as Diary of a Seducer. 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. 126, ill. in color, p. 287, as Diary of a Seducer. Traveled to: Tate Modern, London, February 10–May 3, 2010. (Gale 2010).; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, June 6–September 20, 2010.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010–April 25, 2011, no. 11, ill. in color, p. 35, as Diary of a Seducer.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Abstract Expressionism, September 24, 2016–January 2, 2017 (Exhibition catalogue: Devaney and Wurst 2016), no. 19, ill. in color, p. 151, as Diary of a Seducer. Traveled to: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain, February 3–June 4, 2017.
Literature
Miller, Dorothy C., ed. Fourteen Americans. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1946. Exhibition catalogue (1946c New York), no. 37, ill. in b/w, p. 23; p. 77, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Sunley, Robert. "Fourteen American Artists." Critique (New York) 1 (October 1946), discussed p. 21, as Diary of a Seducer.
Chanin, A.L. "The World of Art: Avant-Garde Artist." The Sunday Compass (New York), April 2, 1950, discussed, as Diary of a Seducer.
T.B.H. [Thomas B. Hess]. "Reviews and Previews." Artnews (New York) 49 (April 1950), ill. in b/w, p. 45, as Diary of a Seducer.
Greenberg, Clement. "Art Chronicle." Partisan Review (New York) 17, no. 5 (May–June 1950), discussed p. 513, as Diary of a Seducer.
Louchheim, Aline. "One Man Picks and Defends Biennial." New York Times, April 30, 1950, discussed p. X8, as Diary of a Seducer.
Devree, Howard. "By Contemporaries." New York Times, April 2, 1950, discussed p. 104, as Diary of a Seducer.
Ballard, Louis. "Art." Arts & Architecture (Los Angeles) 68 (May 1951), discussed p. 11, as Diary of a Seducer.
Coates, Robert. "The Art Galleries." The New Yorker 26, no. 48 (January 20, 1951), discussed p. 62, as Diary of a Seducer.
Curl, Huldah. "Arshile Gorky: Memorial Exhibition." Notes and Comments from the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) 5 (March 1951), discussed p. 2, as Diary of a Seducer.
de Kooning, Elaine. "Gorky: Painter of his Own Legend." Artnews (New York) 49, no. 9 (January 1951), ill. in b/w, p. 65, as Diary of a Seducer.
Genauer, Emily. "Art and Artists: The Whitney's Memorial Exhibit and the Arshile Gorky Tragedy." New York Herald Tribune, January 7, 1951, discussed p. 9, as Diary of a Seducer.
Hess, Thomas B. Abstract Painting: Background and American Phase. New York: Viking Press, 1951, fig. 69, ill. in b/w, p. 109, as Diary of a Seducer.
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. 61, as Diary of a Seducer.
Loftus, John. "Arshile Gorky: A Monograph." M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, New York, 1952, pl. XXXIV, ill. in b/w, as Diary of a Seducer.
Greenberg, Clement. "'American-Type' Painting." Partisan Review (New York) 22, no. 2 (Spring 1955), discussed p. 188, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Mooradian, Karlen. "Arshile Gorky." Armenian Review (Watertown, MA) 8, no. 2 (Summer 1955), discussed p. 57, as Diary of a Seducer.
Schapiro, Meyer. "Gorky: The Creative Influence." Artnews (New York) 56, no. 5 (September 1957), discussed p. 51, as Diary of a Seducer.
Schwabacher, Ethel. Arshile Gorky. New York: The Macmillan Company for the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1957. Monograph, fig. 57, ill. in b/w, p. 127, as Diary of a Seducer.
33 Paintings by Arshile Gorky. New York: Sidney Janis Gallery, 1957. Exhibition catalogue (1957e New York), no. 22, ill. in b/w, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Borgese, Leonardo. "Alla Galleria d'Arte Moderna: Candore e Conformismo della 'Nuova Pittura Americana.'" Corriere Della Sera (Milan), June 8, 1958, discussed p. 3, as "Diario di un seduttore."
Rudikoff, Sonya. "Gorky and Tomlin." Review of Arshile Gorky, by Ethel Schwabacher. Partisan Review (New York) 25 (Winter 1958), discussed p. 160, as Diary of a Seducer.
Crehan, Hubert. "Arshile Gorky." Artnews (New York) 58, no. 6 (October 1959), discussed p. 12, as Diary of a Seducer.
Alloway, Lawrence. "The New American Painting." Art International (Paris) 3, nos. 3–4 (1959), ill. in b/w, p. 24, as Diary of a Seducer.
Rosenberg, Harold. "Arshile Gorky: The Last Move." The Hudson Review (New York) 13 (Spring 1960), discussed p. 106, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Reiff, Robert F. "A Stylistic Analysis of Arshile Gorky's Art from 1943–1948." Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, New York, 1961, fig. 27, ill. in b/w, p. 305, as Diary of a Seducer.
Rosenberg, Harold. "Arshile Gorky, His Art and His Influence." Portfolio & Artnews Annual (New York), no. 5 (1961), ill. in b/w, p. 110, as Diary of a Seducer.
Boatto, Alberto. "L'itinerario di Gorky." Arte Oggi (Rome) 14 (June–December 1962), discussed p. 11, as "Diario di un seduttore."
Geist, Sidney. "Gorky/Rosenberg: Two Reviews." Anita Ventura and Sidney Geist, eds. Review of Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea, by Harold Rosenberg. Scrap (New York) 8 (June 14, 1962), discussed p. 3, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Goldwater, Robert. "The Genius of the Moujik." Review of Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea, by Harold Rosenberg. Saturday Review (New York) 45 (May 19, 1962), discussed p. 38, as Diary of a Seducer.
Goodman, Paul. "Portrait of the Artist." Review of Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea, by Harold Rosenberg. Partisan Review (New York) 29 (Summer 1962), discussed p. 449, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Rosenberg, Harold. Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea. New York: Horizon Press, 1962. Monograph, ill. in b/w, p. 99, as Diary of a Seducer.
Rosenberg, Harold and Paul Goodman. "Gorky and History: An Exchange." Partisan Review (New York) 29 (Fall 1962), discussed p. 591, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Rosenberg, Harold. "The Art Galleries: Art and Identity: The Unfinished Masterpiece." The New Yorker 38, no. 46 (January 5, 1963), discussed p. 77, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Rubin, William. "Arshile Gorky, Surrealism, and the New American Painting." Art International (Paris) 7, no. 2 (February 25, 1963), ill. in b/w, p. 35, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Reiff, Robert. "The Late Works of Arshile Gorky: A Critical Estimate." Art Journal (New York) 22, no. 3 (Spring 1963), discussed p. 149, as Diary of a Seducer.
Schulze, Franz. "On Modern American Painting." Apollo (London) 78 (October 1963), no. 3, ill. in b/w, p. 276, as Diary of a Seducer.
Ashton, Dore. "New York." Das Kunstwerk (Stuttgart, Germany) 16, no. 10 (April 1963), discussed p. 31, as Diary of a Seducer.
Leider, Philip. "The New York School in Los Angeles." Artforum (New York) 4 (September 1965), discussed p. 8, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
"Obras do pinter norte-americano Arshile Gorky." Página Central (Lisbon), 1965, ill. in b/w, as Diary of a Seducer.
Roberts, Keith. "Major Retrospective at the Tate." The Burlington Magazine (London) 107, no. 746 (May 1965), discussed p. 271, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Russell, John. "Getting through to Gorky." The Sunday Times (London), April 1965, discussed, as Diary of a Seducer.
"From Our Art Critic." "Tate Shows First British Exhibition of Arshile Gorky." [unidentified newspaper], c. April 1965, discussed, as Diary of a Seducer.
Levy, Julien. Arshile Gorky. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1966. Monograph, pl. 135, ill. in color, p. 159, as Diary of a Seducer, dated 1945.
Rubin, William. Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1967. Exhibition catalogue (1968b New York), no. 139, ill. in b/w, p. 175, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Passeron, René. Histoire de la peinture surréaliste. Paris: Librairie Le Livre de Poche, 1968, discussed p. 245, as "Journal d'un Seducteur."
Rubin, William S. Dada and Surrealist Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1968, fig. 411, ill. in b/w, p. 392, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Sandler, Irving H. The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, fig. 3–15, ill. in b/w, p. 57, as Diary of a Seducer.
Jordan, Jim M. "Gorky at the Guggenheim." Art Journal (New York) 41, no. 3 (Fall 1981), discussed p. 263, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
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. 57, as Diary of a Seducer.
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. 300, ill. in b/w (repr. 90 degrees counterclockwise), pp. 460–62, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
Seitz, William C. Abstract Expressionist Painting in America. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press for the National Gallery of Art, 1983, fig. 75, ill. in b/w, as Diary of a Seducer.
Lader, Melvin P. Arshile Gorky. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985. Monograph, fig. 94, ill. in color, pp. 94–95, as "The Diary of a Seducer."
"Twentieth-Century Works of Art Recently Acquired by Three New York Museums: The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum." The Burlington Magazine (London) 128, no. 1000 (July 1986), fig. 95, ill. in b/w, p. 538, as Diary of a Seducer.
"The Museum Announces Receipt of Major Gift from the Estate of William A.M. Burden." MoMA (New York) 38 (Winter 1986), ill. in b/w, p. 8, as Diary of a Seducer.
Anfam, David. Abstract Expressionism. New York: Thames & Hudson, 1990, discussed p. 118, as Diary of a Seducer.
Balakian, Peter. "Arshile Gorky and the Armenian Genocide." Art in America (New York) 84 (February 1996), discussed p. 109, as Diary of a Seducer.
Matossian, Nouritza. Black Angel: The Life of Arshile Gorky. London: Chatto & Windus, 1998, pl. 11, ill. in color, as Diary of a Seducer.
Spender, Matthew. From a High Place: A Life of Arshile Gorky. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1999, ill. in b/w, p. 295, as Diary of a Seducer.
Herrera, Hayden. Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003, fig. 131, ill. in b/w, as Diary of a Seducer.
Beredjiklian, Alexandre. Arshile Gorky: sept thèmes majeurs. Suresnes, France: Alphamédian & Johanet; Lisbon: Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, 2007. Monograph, discussed pp. 30, 72, as "Journal d'un Seducteur."
Avakian, Florence. "As Arshile Gorky's Prestige Grows, His Armenian Experience Must Not Be Forgotten." The Armenian Reporter (New York), July 5 2008, discussed, as Diary of a Seducer.
Cooksey, Chelsea L. "Arshile Gorky: The Abstraction of Symbol, Figure, and Form." M.A. Thesis, Purchase College, State University of New York, 2009, fig. 40, ill. in color, p. 74, as Diary of a Seducer.
Matttison, Robert S. Arshile Gorky: Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafica, 2009. Monograph, ill. in color, p. 104, as Diary of a Seducer.
Theriault, Kim S. Rethinking Arshile Gorky. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009. Monograph, fig. 45, ill. in b/w, p. 148, as Diary of a Seducer.
Anfam, David. "Metamorphoses." In Arshile Gorky: Virginia Summer 1946, Candy Coleman, ed. London: Gagosian Gallery, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 London), fig. 2, ill. in color, p. 7, as Diary of a Seducer.
Harvey, Doug. "Gorky's Debt: The Genealogy of an Action Pioneer." Los Angeles Weekly, July 8, 2010, discussed, as Diary of a Seducer.
Robbins, Christa Noel. "Harold Rosenberg on the Character of Action." Oxford Art Journal (U.K.) 35, no. 2 (2012), fig. 6, ill. in color, p. 212; discussed pp. 209, 211–13, as Diary of a Seducer.
Tobin, Richard. "Agnes Martin: Before the Grid." In Agnes Martin: Before the Grid, Bell, Tiffany et al. Taos, NM: The Harwood Museum of Art of the University of New Mexico, 2012. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 10, ill. in color, p. 22, as Diary of a Seducer.
Devaney, Edith. "Repossessing Nature." In Ardent Nature: Arshile Gorky Landscapes, 1943–47. Zurich: Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2017. Exhibition catalogue, ill. in color, p. 19, as Diary of a Seducer.
Balkan, Debra Bricker. Harold Rosenberg: A Critic's Life. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2021, discussed, pp. 361–63; fig. 27, ill. in b/w, p. 361, as Diary of a Seducer.
Robbins, Christa Noel. Artist as Author: Action and Intent in Late-Modernist American Painting. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2021, fig. 1.5, ill. in b/w, p. 36; discussed pp. 34, 37–38, as Diary of a Seducer.
Notes
The painting is signed twice in both white and black paint.

Commentary

According to the artist's wife Agnes "Mougouch" Gorky (1921–2013), the painting's title, Diary of a Seducer, was suggested to Gorky by Max Ernst (1891–1976) and is taken from the first volume of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard's book Either/Or (1843).1

In her 1951 article, "Gorky: Painter of His Own Legend," Elaine de Kooning (1918–1989) writes that the painting is informed by a print which Gorky owned of Jacques-Louis David's (1748–1825) 1824 painting Mars Being Disarmed by Venus (Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels), with Gorky's composition "built around the long torso of the reclining female nude."2

1. Agnes Gorky Fielding, interview by Matthew Spender, July 3, 1992, transcript, Matthew Spender Papers, AGF Archives; Hayden Herrera, Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003), 487.

2. Elaine de Kooning, "Gorky: Gorky: Painter of His Own Legend," ARTnews 49, no. 9 (January 1951): 65.