Lot 311
  • 311

Graham, John D.

15,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • An archive of original art work, correspondence, and ephemera related to artist John D. Graham
  • paper, ink
Comprising: SYSTEM AND DIALECTICS OF ART. New York: Delphic Studios, 1937. 8vo. 15 full-page illustrations; black and blue ink markings to text throughout. Later full black morocco, bound by Marianne Strate, with decorative endpapers, and decorative slipcase of her design. FIRST EDITION, LIMITED TO 1,000 COPIES, of which this is lettered A. GRAHAM'S COPY, SIGNED on the half-title, also inscribed in Italian: "non si torna ohi a stella e fisso..." (you do not go back to star and stay fixed), and in Latin: Ioannus Magus Servus Domini (Johannes Magus, Servant of God), the latter being a personae Graham used as an alter ego, and dated 1946, separate limitation page laid in, SIGNED BY GRAHAM and inscribed: "A cher amis Charles," and dated 1944. 

2 drawing (5 1/8 x 4 3/8 in.; 129 x 112 mm). Black and red ballpoint on paper, text on verso in black ballpoint. 

Oblong portfolio (18 3/4 x 14 1/2 in.; 476 x 374 mm). 35 album sleeves containing: 6 exhibition pamphlets — Original drawing (11 3/8 x 8 1/8 in.; 288 x 208 mm). Multicolored ink and pastel on brown paper, SIGNED by Graham; closed tears, loss to margins, some toning. — Various items of ephemera related to Graham, primarily newspaper clippings. — Symposium pamphlet (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 279 x 216 mm). Pp. 8, yellow wrappers, "Whitney Symposium on American Art," 30 April 1984. — Price list (11 x 8 1/2 in.; 279 x 216 mm). Single sheet, Graham's hand, black ink. — 35 letters (42 sheets), written in French, signed "John" (various sizes). White and blue paper, dated throughout 1960, and addressed to Charles Rieger, with 14 illustrations in ink. — 4 pages, typescript (8 1/2 x 11 in.; 279 x 215 mm). "The Case of Mr. Picasso," c. 1946.


Charles Rieger, New York (gift of the artist)

Catalogue Note

A SMALL ARCHIVE OF ARTWORK, CORRESPONDENCE, AND PRINTED EPHEMERA RELATED TO THE ARTIST JOHN D. GRAHAM COLLECTED BY CHARLES RIEGER. Graham (1886–1961), a Russian Empire-born American Modernist painter, trained at the Art Students League of New York. Graham is considered one of the mentor figures for the Abstract Expressionist generation of American artists, to include Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Dorothy Dehner, and Mark Rothko. His System and Dialectics of Art, present here, was an influential text on modernism and the avant-garde. Charles Rieger (1910–2001), architect, was an esteemed professor at Columbia University. John Graham was his closest friend.