Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Catalogue Entry

Photo: Peter Schälchli
Oil on canvas
44 x 56 3/4 in. (111.8 x 144.1 cm)
Front, center right: A. Gorky / 47 / [paraph]
Reverse not inscribed
Private collection
Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky, February 29–March 20, 1948, no. 4, as Pastoral.
Kootz Gallery, New York, Selected Paintings by the Late Arshile Gorky, March 28–April 24, 1950. (Exhibition brochure: Gottlieb 1950), as "Pastoral II".
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Arshile Gorky, 1904–1948, December 19, 1962–February 12, 1963. (Exhibition catalogue: Seitz 1962), no. 116, p. 56, as Pastoral. Traveled to: Washington Gallery of Modern Art, D.C., March 12–April 14, 1963.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, International Council (organizer), Two Decades of American Painting, 1966–67, as Pastoral, [Japan: unnumbered checklist, p. 66]. Traveled to: National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, October 15–November 27, 1966; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, December 10, 1966–January 22, 1967; Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, March 28–April 15, 1967; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, June 6–July 9, 1967; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, July 17–August 13, 1967.
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy, Le Muse Inquietanti: Maestri del Surrealismo, November 1967–January 1968, no. 263, ill. in b/w, p. 193, as "Pastorale".
M. Knoedler & Co. Inc, New York, Gorky, de Kooning, Newman, June 26–September 20, 1969, as Pastoral.
Haus der Kunst, Munich, Der Surrealismus 1922–1942 / Le Surrealisme, 1922–1942, March 11–May 7, 1972, as Pastoral, [Munich: no. 189, ill. in b/w; Paris: no. 184, ill. in b/w]. Traveled to: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, May 26–July 23, 1972.
Xavier Fourcade Inc, New York, Arshile Gorky: Important Paintings and Drawings, April 3–28, 1979, ill. in color, as "Pastorale".
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective, April 24–July 19, 1981, no. 227, ill. in color, p. 240, as "Pastorale". Traveled to: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, September 12–November 6, 1981; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 3, 1981–February 28, 1982.
Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, American Art in the 20th Century: Painting and Sculpture 1913–1993, May 8–July 25, 1993, no. 84, ill. in color, as "Pastorale". Traveled to: Royal Academy of Arts and Saatchi Gallery, London, September 16–December 12, 1993.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Founders and Heirs of the New York School, January 25–March 16, 1997, no. 18, ill. in color, p. 68, as Pastoral. Traveled to: Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan, April 5–May 25, 1997; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Japan, June 28–August 3, 1997.
Gagosian Gallery (organizer), Red October Chocolate Factory, Moscow, for what you are about to receive, September 18–October 25, 2008, ill. in color, p. 63; ill. in color, p. 227, as Pastoral.
Gagosian Gallery, London, Arshile Gorky: Virginia Summer 1946, February 10–April 1, 2010. (Exhibition catalogue: Anfam 2010), ill. in color, [p. 43], as Pastoral.
Gagosian Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky: 1947, May 6–July 1, 2011, as Pastoral.
Hauser & Wirth, New York, Ardent Nature: Arshile Gorky Landscapes, 1943–47, November 2–December 23, 2017. (Exhibition catalogue: Spender and Devaney 2017), ill. in color, pp. 50–51; p. 139, as Pastoral.
Ca'Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice, Italy, Arshile Gorky: 1904–1948, May 8–September 22, 2019, ill. in color, p. 131, as Pastoral.
Greenberg, Clement. "Art." The Nation (New York) 166 (March 20, 1948), discussed p. 332, as Pastoral.
Cross, Miriam Dungan. "Art: New York Painters' Show in S.F. Brings Mixed Reaction." Oakland Tribune (CA), July 20, 1958, discussed p. 2C, as "Pastorale" (confirm that this is correct Pastoral).
Levy, Julien. Arshile Gorky. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1966. Monograph, pl. 200, ill. in b/w, p. 224, as Pastoral.
Jordan, Jim M. Gorky: Drawings. New York: M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., 1969. Exhibition catalogue (1969e New York), fig. 7, ill. in b/w, p. 14, as Pastoral.
Gibson, Eric. "Arshile Gorky." Art International (Paris) 23 (Summer 1979), discussed p. 77, as "Pastorale".
Rand, Harry. Arshile Gorky: The Implication of Symbols. Montclair, NJ: Allanheld, Osmun & Co. Publishers Inc., and London: George Prior Associated Publishers Ltd., 1981. Monograph, fig. 12–14, ill. in b/w, p. 194, as Pastoral.
Spender, Matthew. "The Originality of Gorky." Art/World (New York) (May 23 / June 20, 1981), discussed p. 5, as "Pastorale".
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. 91, as Pastoral.
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. 347, ill. in b/w, pp. 525–26, as Pastoral.
Corrin, Lisa. "Toward Armenia: Notes of a Journey." In Arshile Gorky: 1904–1948. London: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1990. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 4, ill. in b/w, p. 178, as Pastoral.
Spender, Matthew. "Origines et développement de l'oeuvre dessiné de Arshile Gorky / Quellen und Entwicklung von Arshile Gorkys zeichnerischem Werk." In Arshile Gorky: Œuvres sur Papier, 1929–1947 / Arbeiten auf Papier, 1929–1947, Erika Billeter, ed. Lausanne: Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, 1990. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 20, ill. in b/w, p. 38, as Pastoral.
Rand, Harry. Arshile Gorky: The Implication of Symbols. Rev. ed. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991. Monograph, fig. 12–14, ill. in b/w, p. 216, as Pastoral.
Herrera, Hayden. Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003, fig. 171, ill. in color, as Pastoral.
Cotter, Holland. "The Art of Bliss Remembered." New York Times, December 8, 2017, ill. in color, p. 19, as Pastoral.
Rhodes, David. "Ardent Nature: Arshile Gorky Landscapes, 1943–47." The Brooklyn Rail (NY) (December 2017–January 2018), ill. in b/w, p. 69, as Pastoral.
Tuchman, Phyllis. "Arshile Gorky." Artforum (New York) 56, no. 5 (January 2018), ill. in color, p. 212, as Pastoral.
Field, Parker. "Beyond The Limit." In Arshile Gorky: Beyond The Limit, edited by Jennifer Magee. Zurich: Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2021. Exhibition catalogue, discussed p. 11; ill. in color, p. 48, as Pastoral.
The reverse inscription information is known from the records of the Arshile Gorky Foundation.


Gorky titled the painting Pastoral in preparation for its 1948 showing at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York, which took place several months before his death in July of that year.1 According to Julien Levy (1906–1981), by this point, in part due to André Breton's (1896–1966) departure from New York in December 1945, Gorky's process for arriving at titles had evolved from its earlier basis in collaborative plays of free association (see commentary for P287), to an increasingly succinct "vocabulary" that was "more manifest and less a process of discovery."2 The painting's overall composition is closely referenced in eight known drawings (see related work).

In 2010, when Pastoral was reframed in preparation for an exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, London, a second, previously unseen painting was discovered underneath it, affixed to the original stretcher. Gorky had mounted Pastoral directly over this second work and both paintings shared the same stretcher for over sixty years until they were separated in 2010. The newly uncovered work, catalogued here as P370, is characteristic of the Pastoral series.

1. Julien Levy GalleryNew York, Arshile GorkyFebruary 29–March 20, 1948No catalogue. The works that appeared in the exhibition are known from a price list on file in the Julien Levy papers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives.

2. Julien Levy, Arshile Gorky (New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1966), 36.

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