Julien Levy: Memoir Of An Art Gallery
Introduction by Ingrid Schaffner.
Julien Levy opened his New York gallery in 1931, and the following year assembled the first Surrealist show ever held in that city. Over the next two decades he exhibited works by Dalí, Ernst, Joseph Cornell, Calder, Eugene Berman, Tchelitchew, Giacometti, Arshile Gorky and many other luminaries of twentieth-century art, giving a number of them their first shows. But Levy was more than a gifted dealer: he also had a gift for friendship, and in this charming, anecdotal memoir he recounts his intimate dealings with some of the most innovative figures of his generation. He crossed the Atlantic with Duchamp and introduced Tanguy to New York. He conceived the idea for Dalí's Birth of Venus pavilion at the World's Fair, shared a summer house with Ernst and fished with André Breton (yielding a memorable description of the Surrealist leader's run-in with a blowfish). And he was with Gorky in the final, tragic days before the painter's suicide. Memoir of an Art Gallery is the story of prescient vision and lifelong devotion. By turns humorous and moving, and back in print after many years, it is also one of the most enjoyable works ever written about the pivotal time when Manhattan became the art capital of the world. This edition features a new introduction by Ingrid Schaffner, senior curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.