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On display on Level 2

Arshile GORKY

Turkey (Armenia) 1904 – United States of America 1948

Plumage landscape 1947 Place made: United States of America
Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas

Primary Insc: signed and dated u.r., oil, "A. Gorky/ 47"
Dimensions: 96.5 h x 129.5 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 73.833
Subject: Art style: Surrealism
Image rights: © Arshile Gorky/ADAGP. Licensed by Viscopy
  • the artist;
  • from whom bought through Julien Levy Gallery, New York, by Sidney Janis, New York, 1947;
  • with G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh, c. 1958;
  • with Galerie Beyeler, Basel, in 1960;
  • with Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago, in 1961;
  • to Mrs Muriel Steinberg, Chicago, in 1961;
  • with Paul Kantor Gallery, Beverly Hills, and E.V. Thaw & Co. Inc., New York, in 1962;
  • with Norton Simon, Los Angeles, in 1964;
  • to Norton Simon Inc. Museum of Art, Los Angeles, in 1966;
  • bought through Fourcade, Droll Inc., New York, by the Acquisitions Committee of the Australian National Gallery, December 1973

Gorky's paintings are inevitably preceded by a preliminary drawing. He would select from existing drawings, usually done in the warmer months, to use as the basis for a painting or a number of paintings. The drawing, once transferred to the canvas, would serve as an armature for his colour. The schema would be interpreted freely and could be worked up in a number of interpretations, each a variation on a theme. Two other works share the same underlying drawing as Plumage landscape: Year after year 1947 (collection of Mr and Mrs Gifford Phillips, New York) and Theme for plumage landscape (Call for Virginia) 1947 (private collection).

Michael Lloyd & Michael Desmond European and American Paintings and Sculptures 1870-1970 in the Australian National Gallery 1992 p.216.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra