Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Catalogue Entry

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Photo: Jerry L. Thompson
D1008
Carnival
1943
Crayon and graphite pencil on paper
20 x 27 in. (50.8 x 68.6 cm)
Recto, in pencil, lower right: A Gorky / 43
Verso not seen
Exhibitions
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Arshile Gorky Memorial Exhibition, January 5–February 18, 1951, no. 78 (unconfirmed). Traveled to: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, March 4–April 22, 1951; San Francisco Museum of Art, California, May 9–July 9, 1951.
D'Arcy Galleries, New York, International Surrealist Exhibition, November 28, 1960–January 14, 1961, no. 65, as Carnival.
Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago, Arshile Gorky: Drawings from the Julien Levy Collection, March 18–April 26, 1969.
M. Knoedler & Co. Inc, New York, Gorky: Drawings, November 25–December 27, 1969, no. 61, ill. in b/w, p. 34, as Carnival.
J.L. Hudson Company Gallery, Detroit, Arshile Gorky Drawings, January 7–February 7, 1970, as Carnival.
Lansing Community College, Michigan, Black and White and Shades of Gray, April 5–May 8, 1970, no. 19 (unconfirmed).
Sala de Exposiciones de la Fundación Caja de Pensiones, Madrid, Arshile Gorky, 1904–1948, October 17–December 23, 1989, [exhibited in London only; not in catalogue]. Traveled to: Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, January 19–March 25, 1990.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of Drawings, November 20, 2003–February 15, 2004, no. 79, ill. in color, p. 149, as Carnival. Traveled to: Menil Collection, Houston, March 5–May 9, 2004.
Literature
Levy, Julien. Arshile Gorky. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1966. Monograph, no. 123, ill. in color, p. 147, as Carnival, dated 1944.
Notes
Handmade paper with blindstamp, upper left [reversed]: [crown] R.W.S. / 1804 6 PALL MALL EAST / GUARANTEED / PURE PAPER
The drawing was examined framed; no documentation of its verso has been made available.

Commentary

Having reduced his activity as a dealer during the early years of the war, Julien Levy (1906–1981) moved his gallery to its final location of 42 East 57th Street in March 1943. He signed a contract with Gorky in December 1944. Levy had known Gorky for over ten years at this point, without having shown an interest in representing his work. He offered the artist a contract following a recommendation from André Breton (1896–1966), who promised to write an introductory essay to Gorky’s debut solo show, which opened in March 1945.1 This drawing is among the first selection of works that Levy received from the artist on December 21, 1944. 

1. Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky, March 6–31, 1945.

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