Arshile Gorky. Untitled (Ecorché). (c. 1932)

Arshile Gorky Untitled (Ecorché) (c. 1932)

  • Not on view

Gorky, who was largely self-taught, learned to draw by copying works he saw in museums and art publications. In the early 1930s, he made a series of drawings based on the tradition of écorché ("flayed" or "skinned" in French). This practice, dating to the Renaissance and popular in nineteenth-century French academic drawing, consists of rendering a figure's muscles and bones as they would appear under the skin. Gorky's adoption of écorché points simultaneously to his academic foundations, his interest in Surrealism, and his burgeoning proclivity toward abstraction. The swollen musculature in this drawing chronicles anatomy but also suggests nonspecific organic forms or pure pattern.

Gallery label from Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, March 14July 9, 2012.
Pencil on paper
24 3/4 x 19 1/8" (62.9 x 48.7 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by Leon D. Black
Object number
© 2019 Estate of Arshile Gorky / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to