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.