Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Catalogue Entry

Photo: Peter Schälchli
[Nighttime, Enigma, and Nostalgia]
c. 1934–36
Ink, ink wash, and graphite pencil on paper
17 1/2 x 23 in. (44.4 x 58.4 cm)
Recto, in ink, lower right: A Gorky
Verso not seen
Private collection
Museum of Modern Art, New York, International Council (organizer), Arshile Gorky Drawings, 1962–68, MoMA no. 62.1053, as "Untitled Drawing," dated 1929–32, [Tokyo: no. 7, ill. in b/w; Germany: no. 7; UK: no. 7; Rotterdam: no. 28; Vienna: no. 7, ill. in b/w, p. 15; Lisbon: no. 7; Oslo: no. 7; Basel: no. 7; Zagreb: no. 7; Rome: no. 6, ill. in b/w; Buenos Aires: no. 7, ill. in b/w; Caracas: no. 7; Mexico City: no. 7]. Traveled to: Newcomb College, Tulane University, New Orleans, September 23–October 14, 1962; Chatham College, Pittsburgh, October 29–November 19, 1962; Watkins Institute, Nashville, January 9–30, 1963; Spiva Art Center, Joplin, Missouri, February 7–28, 1963; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, March 15–April 5, 1963; Marshall College, Huntington, West Virginia, April 22–May 13, 1963; Seibu Gallery, Seibu Department Store, Tokyo, July 26–August 11, 1963; Westmar College, LeMars, Iowa, September 2–23, 1963; Washington University, Saint Louis, October 4–25, 1963; Arts Club of Chicago, November 10–December 15, 1963; Indiana University, Bloomington, January 2–23, 1964; Wells College, Aurora, New York, February 7–28, 1964; Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, March 16–April 6, 1964; Jewish Museum, New York, April 21–June 30, 1964; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany, July 6–August 5, 1964; Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany, August 7–September 4, 1964; Amerika Haus, Berlin, September 11–October 6, 1964; Folkwangmuseum, Essen, Germany, October 15–November 15, 1964; York City Art Gallery, United Kingdom, December 5–30, 1964; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, January 6–February 13, 1965; Midland Group Gallery, Nottingham, United Kingdom, February 20–March 6, 1965; City Art Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom, March 13–April 3, 1965; National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, April 10–May 1, 1965; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, May 27–June 27, 1965; Boymans-van-Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, July 24–September 5, 1965; Museum des 20ten Jahrhunderts, Vienna, September 18–October 17, 1965; Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes, Lisbon, November 23–December 23, 1965; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, January 22–February 13, 1966; Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden, March 5–April 1, 1966; Öffentliche Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland, April 30–June 5, 1966; Galerija Grada Zagreba, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, June 21–July 10, 1966; Galerija Doma Omladine, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, October 6–16, 1966; Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, April 2–May 15, 1967; Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, November 29–December 23, 1967 (as Sobre papel: Obras de Arshile Gorky); Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, January 21–February 14, 1968; Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia, March 21–April 5, 1968; Galeria Universitaria Aristos, Mexico City, May 3–June 5, 1968.
Arts Council of Great Britain, London (organizer), Arshile Gorky, Paintings and Drawings / Arshile Gorky: Schilderijen en Tekeningen, 1965, no. 28, as "Tekening zonder titel / Untitled drawing," dated 1929–32. Traveled to: 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).
M. Knoedler & Co. Inc, New York, Gorky: Drawings, November 25–December 27, 1969. (Exhibition catalogue: Jordan 1969), no. 5, ill. in color, p. 17; p. 55, as "Drawing," dated 1929–32.
Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Arshile Gorky: Œuvres sur Papier, 1929–1947; Arbeiten auf Papier, 1929–1947, September 21–November 11, 1990, no. 7, ill. in b/w, p. 52; p. 193, as "Sans titre / Ohne Titel," dated c. 1929–32. Traveled to: Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, January 16–February 27, 1991; Musée Cantini, Marseille, France, March 15–May 30, 1991; Musée d'art Moderne de Saint Étienne, France, June 20–September 2, 1991; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, September 25–November 10, 1991; Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany, November 19, 1991–January 26, 1992.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy, Arshile Gorky: Works on Paper / Opere su Carta, April–June 28, 1992, no. 3, ill. in color, p. 43, as "Untitled," dated c. 1932. Traveled to: Palazzo delle Esponsizioni, Rome, October 14–November 30, 1992; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, July 21–August 27, 1993.
Stephen Mazoh & Co. Inc, New York (organizer), Arshile Gorky and the Genesis of Abstraction: Drawings from the Early 1930s, 1994–96, no. 32, ill. in color, pp. 64–65, as "Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia," dated c. 1933–36. Traveled to: Art Museum, Princeton University, New Jersey, October 29, 1994–January 3, 1995; Milwaukee Art Museum, January 20–April 16, 1995; Stephen Mazoh & Co. Inc, New York, May–June 9, 1995; Baltimore Museum of Art, October 18, 1995–January 21, 1996.
Gagosian Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky: Paintings and Drawings, 1929–1942, October 27, 1998–January 9, 1999, ill. in color, as "Untitled (Relating to Nighttime, Enigma, and Nostalgia)," pp. 60–61 (Group 3: Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia as D); p. 95, as "Untitled (Nighttime, Enigma, and Nostalgia)".
Pace Gallery, New York, Mythology, February 22–April 14, 2012, ill. in color, p. 27, as "Untitled (Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia)," dated c. 1933–36.
Ca'Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice, Italy, Arshile Gorky: 1904–1948, May 8–September 22, 2019, ill. in color, p. 155, as "Untitled (Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia)".
Finklestein, Louis. "Becoming Is Meaning." Artnews (New York) 68, no. 8 (December 1969), ill. in color, p. 46, as "Untitled ink and wash drawing".
Herrera, Hayden. Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003, fig. 89, ill. in b/w, as "Untitled (related to Nighttime, Enigma, and Nostalgia)".
Lader, Melvin P. "What the Drawings Reveal: Some Observations on Arshile Gorky's Working Method." In Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of Drawings. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art and Harry N. Abrams, 2003. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 7, ill. in b/w, p. 32, as "Untitled".


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 when he was most dedicated to developing the composition. Ultimately, he produced nearly one hundred drawings and three related paintings.

Related Work
[Nighttime, Enigma, and Nostalgia]1931 D1582
India ink, ink, and graphite pencil on paper
India ink, ink, and graphite pencil on paper