Arshile Gorky Catalogue Raisonné
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Catalogue Entry

Photo: Jerry L. Thompson
Graphite pencil and crayon on lavender-edged paper
20 x 26 1/4 in. (50.8 x 66.7 cm)
Recto, in pencil, lower right: A. Gorky / 44
Verso not inscribed
Private collection
Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile Gorky, March 6–31, 1945. (Exhibition brochure: Breton 1945b).
Reiff, Robert F. "A Stylistic Analysis of Arshile Gorky's Art from 1943–1948." Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, New York, 1961, fig. 34, ill. in b/w, p. 312, as "Drawing".
Watermark / Stamp: Strathmore
The drawing is on Strathmore "Fiesta" paper. According to extant Strathmore “Fiesta” sample booklets, the sheet’s deckled-edges would have originally been tinted mulberry, but the mulberry ink has apparently lightened to lavender. “Fiesta” paper, available at 26 x 40 inches a sheet, had colored, deckled edges at top and bottom, and in a variety of colors. The drawing's approximately 20 x 26 inches are the result of the original sheet being halved down its center. It is one of ten known drawings by Gorky on this type of support.
Verso, in pencil, lower left [not in artist's hand]: JL; upper right: ↑ Top; lower right: 20 x 31 / 19 1/2 [line] 5 1/2 x 20 1/4 [line] 5 3/4; [illegible] 125
The verso inscription information and marking are known from a photograph provided by Christie's, New York.


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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