Arshile Gorky: Beyond The Limit

Arshile Gorky: Beyond The Limit


Hidden for over 70 years, Arshile Gorky’s ‘Untitled (Virginia Summer)’ was discovered in 2020 during conservation and research. It was hidden directly beneath ‘The Limit’ and attached to the same, original stretcher that Gorky used when the painting first left his studio in 1947. In 2021, Hauser & Wirth New York presented the never-before-exhibited painting.

We wanted to capture the intriguing story of Gorky’s paintings with our choice of materials and typography. The removable paper jacket partially conceals ‘The Limit’, allowing the reader to experience the action of unveiling one of Gorky’s works. ‘The Limit’ is painted on cartridge paper, which Gorky mounted on to canvas by wrapping strips of Kraft paper around the stretcher. This detail is reflected by our choice of Kraft paper for the text sections in the book.

The body text is set in Quadrant Text by Matter of Sorts. For the cover and title pages we designed a bespoke typeface. It is based on a characterful design named Gothic Modern — originally produced by Barnhart Brothers & Spindler, an American type foundry that operated in the 19th and 20th century. The unrefined forms have a charm that connects to Gorky’s bold personality, and the heavy letterforms reference his interest in the weight of paint on a surface.

Publisher: Hauser & Wirth
Contributors: Pepe Karmel, Parker Field