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Arshile Gorky - Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia
"Between 1931 and 1934, Gorky made a series of more than eighty drawings and two paintings that he titled Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia. The inspiration for this important body of work came from Giorgio de Chirico’s 1914 painting The Fatal Temple [last image of the above set].
De Chirico’s mysterious painting, with its suggestion of the joy and suffering of the mother-and-son relationship, must have resonated with Gorky, who had by this time begun two important works on the theme of the artist and his mother.
With its interlocking shapes, shallow, Cubist-derived space, and compartmentalized imagery, the series represents a distinct departure from Gorky’s earlier experiments with the techniques and motifs of Cézanne and other modern masters.
Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia moved farther and farther from De Chirico’s work as it progressed, to the point where the two paintings on the theme can be considered among the most original of Gorky’s early accomplishments.”