Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Catalogue Entry

P306
Charred Beloved No. 2
1946
Oil on canvas
54 1/16 x 40 in. (137.3 x 101.6 cm)
Front, lower left: A. Gorky / 46.
Reverse not inscribed
Exhibitions
Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky: Paintings, April 9–May 4, 1946, no. 2, as Charred Beloved No. 2.
XXV Biennale di Venezia, U.S. Pavillion, Venice, Italy, Gorky, Pollock, de Kooning, June 3–October 15, 1950, no. 73, p. 394, as "L'amato carbonizzato N. 2."
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Arshile Gorky Memorial Exhibition, January 5–February 18, 1951, no. 43, p. 47, as "Charred Beloved II." 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. 14, as "Charred Beloved II."
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky in the Final Years, February 16–March 14, 1953, no. 12, as "Charred Beloved II."
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Reality and Fantasy 1900–1954, May 23–July 2, 1954, no. 67, as Charred Beloved No. 2.
American Federation of Arts, New York (organizer), In Memoriam: 12 American Artists Who Died in the Past 12 Years, 1955–56, no. 7, as "Charred Beloved II." Traveled to: National Arts Club, New York, September 10–20, 1955; Watkins Institute, Nashville, October 1–22, 1955; Hunter Gallery, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 10–30, 1955; Gates Gallery, Port Arthur, Texas, December 14, 1955–January 4, 1956; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, January 15–February 6, 1956; University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, February 25–March 24, 1956; Atlanta Public Library, April 7–28, 1956; Des Moines Art Center, May 12–June 8, 1956; State University of Iowa, Iowa City, June 17–August 1, 1956.
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, The Romantic Agony: From Goya to de Kooning, April 23–May 31, 1959, ill. in b/w, p. 20, as "Charred Beloved II."
Städtische Galerie München (Lenbachpalais), Munich, Neue Malerei: Form Struktur Bedeutung, June 10–August 28, 1960, no. 45, ill. in b/w, as "Charred Beloved."
XXXI Biennale di Venezia: Internazionale d'Arte, U.S. Pavillion, Venice, Italy, Arshile Gorky, June 16–October 7, 1962, no. 21, p. 114, as "L'amata bruciata II."
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Arshile Gorky, 1904–1948, December 19, 1962–February 12, 1963, no. 85, ill. in b/w, p. 38, as "Charred Beloved II." Traveled to: Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, D.C, March 12–April 14, 1963.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective, April 24–July 19, 1981, no. 196, ill. in b/w, p. 219, as "Charred Beloved II." Traveled to: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, September 11–November 8, 1981; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 3, 1981–February 28, 1982.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, October 15, 2009–January 10, 2010, no. 167, ill. in color, p. 330, as "Charred Beloved II." Traveled to: Tate Modern, London, February 10–May 3, 2010. (Gale 2010).; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, June 6–September 20, 2010.
Literature
Curl, Huldah. "Arshile Gorky: Memorial Exhibition." Notes and Comments from the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) 5 (March 1951), ill. in b/w, p. 2, as "The Charred Beloved."
de Kooning, Elaine. "Gorky: Painter of his Own Legend." Artnews (New York) 49, no. 9 (January 1951), discussed p. 65, as "Charred Beloved."
Blesh, Rudi. Modern Art USA: Men, Rebellion, Conquest, 1900–1956. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1956, ill. in b/w , p. 212, as Charred Beloved No. 2.
"Special issue on Gorky in Italian and English with text by Toti Scialoja and excerpts from Schwabacher 1957." Arti Visive 6–7 (Summer 1957), no.1, ill. in b/w, as "Charred Beloved II."
Schwabacher, Ethel. Arshile Gorky. New York: The Macmillan Company for the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1957. Monograph, fig. 58, ill. in b/w, p. 129, as "Charred Beloved, II."
Reiff, Robert F. "A Stylistic Analysis of Arshile Gorky's Art from 1943–1948." Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, New York, 1961, fig. 71, ill. in b/w, p. 349, as "Charred Beloved II."
Rosenberg, Harold. Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea. New York: Horizon Press, 1962. Monograph, discussed p. 104.
Kozloff, Max. "The Critical Reception of Abstract-Expressionism." Arts Magazine (New York) 40, no. 2 (December 1965), ill. in b/w, p. 32, as "Charred Beloved."
Levy, Julien. Arshile Gorky. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1966. Monograph, pl. 140, ill. in b/w, p. 164, as "Charred Beloved II."
Rand, Harry. Arshile Gorky: The Implication of Symbols. London and Montclair, N.J.: George Prior and Allanheld & Schram, 1980, 1981. Monograph, fig. 14–2, ill. in b/w, p. 214, as "Charred Beloved II."
Jordan, Jim M. "Gorky at the Guggenheim." Art Journal (New York) 41, no. 3 (Fall 1981), discussed p. 263, as "Charred Beloved II."
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 "Charred Beloved II."
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 p. 88, as "Charred Beloved II."
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. 306, ill. in b/w, pp. 470–71, as "Charred Beloved II."
Seitz, William C. Abstract Expressionist Painting in America. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press for the National Gallery of Art, 1983, fig. 78, ill. in b/w, as "Charred Beloved II."
Rand, Harry. Arshile Gorky: The Implication of Symbols. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991. Monograph, fig. 14–2, ill. in b/w, p. 238, as "Charred Beloved II."
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. 19–8, ill. in b/w, p. 233, as "Charred Beloved II."
FitzGerald, Michael. "Picasso and American Art: Chapter Four (1940–1949)." In Picasso and American Art. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, in association with Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2006. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 92, ill. in b/w, p. 229; discussed p. 230, as "Charred Beloved II."
Beredjiklian, Alexandre. Arshile Gorky: sept thèmes majeurs. Suresnes, France: Alphamédian & Johanet; Lisbon: Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, 2007. Monograph, discussed p. 55, as "Bien-aimée calcinée II."
Cooksey, Chelsea L. "Arshile Gorky: The Abstraction of Symbol, Figure, and Form." M.A. Thesis, Purchase College, State University of New York, 2009, fig. 61, ill. in b/w, p. 86, as "Charred Beloved II."
Matttison, Robert S. Arshile Gorky: Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafica, 2009. Monograph, ill. in color, p. 110, as "Charred Beloved II."
Gale, Matthew. Arshile Gorky: Enigma and Nostalgia. London: Tate Publishing, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2009–10 Philadelphia), no. 36, ill. in color, p. 76, as "Charred Beloved II."
Notes
Reverse, in pencil, on a section of the canvas folded around the upper stretcher bar [not in artist's hand]: CHARRED BELOVED
The reverse inscription information and marking are known from a photograph provided by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Commentary

Almost immediately after Gorky's Sherman, Connecticut, studio was destroyed by fire in mid-January 1946, the art collectors Kathrin and Walter Hochschild offered him use of the ballroom in their penthouse apartment located at 1200 Fifth Avenue. In this temporary ballroom studio, Gorky created four paintings (P305, P306, P307, and P371), three of which were sent to Julien Levy Gallery in New York, where they were exhibited that April. This painting is the second work on the checklist: Charred Beloved No. 2. The chosen title was likely determined through a collaborative process of free association, which Gorky and André Breton (1896–1966) had experimented with a year earlier (see commentary for P287).1

The devastating studio fire was unexpectedly liberating for the artist as Agnes "Mougouch" Gorky (1921–2013) later explained. "The fire was awful, breathtaking, but I have never seen Gorky so strong, so calm, so free as he was that next day. The studio was destroyed but the paintings, he said, were all in him. He would make better ones."2 Gorky himself would later comment, "sometimes it is very good to have everything cleaned out like that, and be forced to begin again."3

1. Julien Levy GalleryNew YorkArshile Gorky: PaintingsApril 9–May 4, 1946.

2. Agnes Gorky Phillips, "Unpublished Critique of Ethel Schwabacher's Biography," c. 1957, in Matthew Spender, ed., Arshile Gorky: The Plow and the Song: A Life in Letters and Documents (ZurichHauser & Wirth Publishers, 2018), 533; see also: Letter from Mougouch Gorky to Jeanne Reynal, late January 1946, in ibid, 372.

3. Arshile Gorky, as quoted in Talcott B. Clapp, "A Painter in a Glass House," Sunday Republican Magazine (February 29, 1948): 3.

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