Water of the Flowery Mill

Arshile Gorky (American (born Armenia), Khorkom 1904–1948 Sherman, Connecticut)

Oil on canvas
42 1/4 x 48 3/4in. (107.3 x 123.8cm)
Credit Line:
George A. Hearn Fund, 1956
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    Water of the Flowery Mill is part of a group of landscape-inspired works produced during the last six years of Gorky's life. While based on his study of an old mill and bridge on the Housatonic River in Connecticut, it also evokes the artist's nostalgia for Armenia, which he had fled with his family some twenty years earlier. As Gorky wrote to his sister in February 1942: "loving memories of our garden in Armenia's Khorkom haunt me frequently. . . . In my art I often draw our garden and recreate its precious greenery and life." Influenced by the Surrealists' biomorphic imagery-particularly that of Joan Miró-Gorky's fluid abstraction translates the landscape into flat, overlapping fields of color and anticipates Abstract Expressionism's gestural brushwork.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed and dated (upper left): A.Gorky/44

  • Exhibition History

    Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, May 7-September 17, 1995; Buffalo, New York: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, October 13-December 31, 1995; Texas: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, January 13-March 17, 1996. ¦Arshile Gorky: The Breakthrough Years¦. Exh. cat. no. 11, p. 111 (illus. in color).

    New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem, December 6, 1992 - April 11, 1993. ¦Wifredo Lam and His Contemporaries: 1938 - 1952¦. Cat. no. 3, p. 74.

    Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, December 14, 1984 - April 14, 1985. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, June 27 - September 8, 1985. ¦Painting After 1940¦.

    New York: Sidney Janis, October 9 - October 30, 1982. ¦Expressionist Image in American Figurative Art¦.

    New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, April 24 - July 19, 1981. Dallas, Texas: dallas Museum of Fine Arts, September 11 - November 8, 1981. Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 3 - February 28, 1981 - 1982. ¦Arshile Gorky, 1904 - 1948: A Retrospective¦. no. 6 (illus.).

    Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art, October 3 - November 25, 1979.

    New York: Sidney Janis Gallery, March 13 - April 13, 1974. ¦25 Years of Janis, Part II: From Pollock to Pop, Op and Sharp-Focus Realism¦. No. 25 (illustrated in b/w).

    Boston, Massachusettes: Boston Museum of Fine Arts, August - October 1970.

    New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970. ¦Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries¦. p. 326 (listed and illustrated).

    New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1965. ¦Three Centuries of American Painting¦. checklist arranged alphabetically.

    New York: Museum of Modern Art, December 17, 1962 - February 12, 1963.

    Venice, Italy: Venice Biennale, June 16 - October 7, 1962.

    New York: Janis Gallery, 1953.

    New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1946. New York: Vassar College. Palm Beach, Florida: Society of the Four Arts. Cincinnati, Ohio: Cincinnati Modern Art Society. San Francisco, California: San Francisco Museum of Art. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State Museum. January 5 - June 30, 1947. ¦Fourteen Americans¦. Cat. no. 32

    Arshile Gorky Retrospective, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 20, 2009- January, 10, 2010;

  • References

    Fitzsimmons, James. "The Late Gorky" in Art Digest. Vol. 27, March 1, 1953. P. 16.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Painting in the Twentieth Century. 1965, p. 181 (ill., discussed), p. 215 (short biography of the artist), p. 228 (bibliography on the artist).

    Chanin, A.L. Art Guide/New York. New York: Horizon Press, 1965, p. 101 no. 152, illustrated p. 101, fig. 152

    Levy, Julien. Arshile Gorky. Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1966 p. 35.

    Rand, Harry. Arshile Gorky: The Implication of Symbols. Montclair, New Jersey 1981. pp. 92-97, discussed (illustrated: Fig. 6-7, detail, fig. 6-8, pp. 94-95)

    Lader, Melvin P. Gorky. Abbeville Modern Master, 1985. p. 77 (mentioned), p. 78, plate 72 (color illus.).

    Leenhardt, Jacques and Sims, Lowery et al. Wifredo Lam and his Contemporaries, 1938-1952. New York: The Studio Museum of Harlem, 1992, p. 74 (illus.).

  • See also