A Life of Discovery: Works from The Allan Stone Collection | Contemporary Art Online

A Life of Discovery: Works from The Allan Stone Collection | Contemporary Art Online

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 47. JOHN GRAHAM | MARYA.


Lot Closed

December 10, 05:47 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 USD

Lot Details





dated 1941 and inscribed To Mar Ionnus

double-sided graphite, colored pencil and ink on paper

Sheet: 11½ by 9 in. (29.2 by 22.9 cm)

Framed: 19 by 16¼ in. (48.3 by 41.3 cm)

Please note that this work will be exhibited at Sotheby’s. Purchased items will be available for collection at Crozier Fine Arts, 1 Star Ledger Plaza, Newark, NJ as of Thursday, December 13th.

Allan Stone Gallery, New York

New York, Allan Stone Gallery, John Graham, April 1973

New York, Allan Stone Projects, Artists of the New York School, October - December 2016

New York, Allan Stone Projects, John Graham: Artist Sweating Blood, September - October 2017

New York, Allan Stone Projects, Draughtsmanship: Selected Drawings from the Allan Stone Collection, March - April 2018

As a bridge between European Modernism and the American Vangaurd, Graham has held a pivotal position in the Allan Stone Collection since the 1970s. During the 1930s Graham’s expertise in Surrealism and Cubism canonized him for a new generation of American Modernists, including de Kooning, Gorky, David Smith and Franz Kline, among others. Graham introduced them to the significance of the unconscious as a source of inspiration and thus contributed to the earliest developments of Abstract Expressionism. Graham rarely painted in any one style, choosing rather to let his intuitive impulses guide him from one theme to another. He studied mysticism and closely followed Freudian and Jungian psychology as they developed. Graham's eclectic impulses grew by the early 1940s as he incorporated elements of Cubism and Surrealism, but also Tribal art, of which he was an avid collector. The spectrum of cultural references in Graham's work points to his mystical tendencies, and gives ground for Eleanor Green’s characterization of the artist as an “avatar" (Eleanor Green and John Graham, John Graham Artist and Avatar, Washington 1987). This double sided drawing incorporates three of Graham's signature references: his wife Marya, who was the subject of some of his best known works; one of Graham's "avatars" or alter ego's with the signature "Ionnus;" and mythic warriors, with the cubist equestrian imagery on the verso.

Graham has been exhibited widely, with comprehensive retrospectives organized by The Phillips Collection in 1987, Allan Stone Gallery in 2005 and the Parrish Museum of Art in 2017. His works are found in numerous public collections, such as the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.