Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Catalogue Entry

[Nighttime, Enigma, and Nostalgia: Enigma]
India ink and ink on paperboard mounted on linen
29 1/4 x 39 1/2 in. (74.3 x 100.3 cm)
Recto, in ink, lower right: A. Gorky
Verso not seen
Private collection

Recto, in ink, lower right [possibly in artist's hand]: 1931

The paperboard was mounted on linen by someone other than the artist; no documentation of the verso of the original paperboard support has been made available.


In 1929, Gorky began a series of abstract works which is now referred to as "Nighttime, Enigma, and Nostalgia." While he continued working on this until 1936, it was between 1931 and 1934 that he was most dedicated to developing the composition. Ultimately, he produced nearly one hundred drawings and three related paintings. The body of work can be divided into subsets, such as the posthumously titled "Fish and Head," "Column with Objects" and "Écorché." Two subsets reference confirmed lifetime titles: Objects and Enigma. The latter's source, a painting (P120), is related to six known drawings, including this work.1

1. See also: D0173, D0174a, D0175a, D0176, and D0177.

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