Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Photo: The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY
D1010
(Carnival)
1943
Crayon and graphite pencil on paper
22 3/4 x 28 13/16 in. (57.8 x 73.2 cm)
Recto, in pencil, lower right: A. Gorky / 43
Verso not seen
Exhibitions
Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky, March 6–31, 1945 (Exhibition checklist: Breton 1945b).
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Arshile Gorky Memorial Exhibition, January 5–February 18, 1951, no. 75, p. 48. Traveled to: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, March 4–April 22, 1951; San Francisco Museum of Art, California, May 9–July 9, 1951.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Collectors, September 20–October 27, 1963, p. 5, as "Carnival."
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Fantastic Drawings, December 18, 1967–January 28, 1968.
J. Millard Tawes Fine Arts Center, University of Maryland Art Department and Art Gallery, College Park, The Drawings of Arshile Gorky, March 20–April 27, 1969 (Exhibition catalogue: Joyner 1969), no. 18 (Drawings, Sketches, Gouaches), p. 53; fig. 24, ill. in b/w, p. 39, as "Carnival."
M. Knoedler & Co. Inc, New York, Gorky: Drawings, November 25–December 27, 1969 (Exhibition catalogue: Jordan 1969), no. 68, ill. in b/w, p. 36; p. 58, as "Carnival."
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Twentieth-Century Drawings from Chicago Collections, September 15–November 11, 1973, as "Carnival."
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Drawings by Five Abstract Expressionist Painters: Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, January 10–February 29, 1976, as "Carnival."
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Twentieth Century American Drawing: Three Avant-Garde Generations, January 23–March 28, 1976, no. 84, as "Carnival." Traveled to: Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany, May 27–July 11, 1976; Kunsthalle, Bremen, Germany, July 18–August 29, 1976.
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (organized in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years, March 30–May 14, 1978 (Exhibition catalogue: Hobbs and Levin 1978); (Exhibition catalogue: Levin 1978a); (Exhibition catalogue: Levin 1978b), as "Carnival." Traveled to: Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, June 17–July 12, 1978; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 5–December 3, 1978.
David and Alfred Smart Gallery, University of Chicago, Abstract Expressionism: A Tribute to Harold Rosenberg: Paintings and Drawings from Chicago Collections, October 11–November 25, 1979, no. 10, as "Carnival."
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective, April 24–July 19, 1981, no. 159, ill. in color, p. 187, as "Carnival." Traveled to: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, September 11–November 8, 1981; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 3, 1981–February 28, 1982.
Art Institute of Chicago, A Tribute to Edwin A. Bergman (1917–1986): Selections from the Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection, May 30–August 24, 1986, no. 22.
Literature
Levin, Gail. "Arshile Gorky (1904–1948)." In Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 1978. Exhibition catalogue (1978 Ithaca), fig. 60, ill. in b/w, p. 70, as "Carnival."
Jordan, Jim M. "Gorky at the Guggenheim." Art Journal (New York) 41, no. 3 (Fall 1981), discussed p. 263, as "Carnival."
Waldman, Diane. "Arshile Gorky: Poet in Paint." In Arshile Gorky 1904–1948: A Retrospective. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in collaboration with The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1981. Exhibition catalogue, discussed p. 54, as "Carnival."
Sims, Lowery Stokes. "Wifredo Lam and Roberto Matta: Surrealism in the New World." In In the Mind's Eye: Dada and Surrealism, Terry Ann R. Neff, ed. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985. Exhibition catalogue, pl. 29, ill. in color, p. 101, as "Carnival."
Ades, Dawn. Surrealist Art: The Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. Margherita Andreotti, ed. Chicago and New York: Art Institute of Chicago and Thames and Hudson, 1997, fig. 73, ill. in color, p. 142, as "Carnival."
Spender, Matthew. From a High Place: A Life of Arshile Gorky. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1999, ill. in b/w, p. 256, as "Carnival."
Wood, James N. and Debra N. Mancoff. Treasures from the Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2000, ill. in color, p. 283, as "Carnival."
Taylor, Michael R. "Gorky and Surrealism." In Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, Kathleen Krattenmaker, ed. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009. Exhibition catalogue, fig. 76, ill. in color, p. 102, as "Carnival."
Notes
Watermark / Stamp: Strathmore
Strathmore paper with blindstamp, lower left: STRATHMORE / [thistle] / USE EITHER SIDE
The drawing is 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 and, based on this fact, it is probable, though unconfirmed, that it was included in the 1945 exhibition

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

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