The origins of the colorful interlocking forms in Arshile Gorky's Untitled can be traced back to the artist's involvement with the New York Surrealist movement of the 1920s and 1930s. Strong colors and robust forms had always played an important role in Gorky's artistic life due to his Armenian background and his love of the brightly colored folkloric paintings of his homeland. His prominent position within New York art circles had bought him into contact with many of the leading lights of the Surrealist movement who had moved to the United States due to the outbreak of hostilities in Europe. He eagerly sought out the work of artists like Pablo Picasso, Giorgio de Chirico, and Joan Miró in New York's museums and devoured all the art magazines, books and exhibition catalogues that he could lay his hands on. The converging of these influences resulted in Gorky developing a lexicon of painting that was neither full-blown automatism nor recognizable representational painting. Untitled exemplifies this new style of painting that resulted in free-floating images, shapes, and forms that derived much from Miró's nature-based abstractions of the 1930s. Similar to his three Garden in Sochi masterworks, painted during the first few years of the 1940s, the organic and biomorphic forms in Untitled jostle and crowd each other for attention; but yet, Gorky refuses to allow any one of the forms to become dominant, with each retaining its own individual identity and dignity.
Untitled represents an important step in Gorky's journey from his early work to the mature style he was developing during this period, just a few years before his untimely death in 1948. His unique style has meant that he is one of the most pivotal artists in the development of 20