Cleve Gray


Cleve Gray Biography

America, 1918-2004

Cleve Gray was an American Abstract expressionist painter also associated with Color Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction. From an early age, Gray studied art. He attended two different schools, first in New York City and then Massachusetts, pursuing art at both. He went on to attend Princeton University from which he graduated with degrees in Art and Archeology. After graduating, Gray joined the army, which would influence his creativity and further his artistic growth. During this time, his focus on landscape and still life shifted dramatically toward purified forms and abstraction. While serving in Europe during World War II, he met Picasso and close followers of Marcel Duchamp. These major Avant Garde leaders in Paris informally trained Gray and undoubtedly influenced his later works. Their influence along with the strong anti-war sentiments conceived during that period continued to affect his work thought the Vietnam War (“Threnody” series) and later.

Cleve Gray’s work can be found in all major museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Institute and The Brooklyn Museum.

Cleve Gray passed away in 2004.

1924-32 Ethical Culture School in New York City, NY
1929-33 Formal Training at New York with Antonia Nellstudied with George Bellows 
1933-36 Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts; studied painting with Bartlett Hayes, won the Samuel F. B. Morse Prize for most promising art student.
1936-40 Princeton University, summa cum laude, with BA in Art and ArchaeologyStudied painting with James C. Davis and Far Eastern Art with George Rowley, for whom he wrote his thesis on Yuan dynasty landscape painting.
1943-46 Parisstudied informally with André Lhote and Jacques Villon
1961 Pratt Graphic Art Institute, New York
1963 Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City, under auspices of Ford Foundation Program, Artist-in-Residence
1970 Honolulu Academy of Art, Artist-in-Residence, HA
1980-87 American Academy, Rome, Artist-in-Residence
1992 University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree

Selected Solo Exhibitions
1973 Sneed Hillman Gallery, Rockford, IL
1970 Sneed Hillman Gallery, Rockford, IL
1970 Cleve Gray: Prints and Drawings, The Graphics Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1967 Ceres Series, Saidenberg Gallery, New York, NY
1964 Recent Paintings, Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY
1963 Jerrold Morris International Gallery, Toronto, Canada
1963 Galeria Grattacielo, Milan, Italy
1963 Cleve Gray, Solo Gallery, Richmond, VA
1958 Cleve Gray, Solo Gallery, Richmond, VA
1957 Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Selected Group Exhibitions
1998 Butler Institute, Youngstown, Ohio
1998 The Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME
1998 The Eumenides Series, Berry-Hill Gallery, New York, NY
1996 Cleve Gray: The Art of Memory-Threnody; Zen Gardens Series; In Prague Series, 1996 1996 Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York, Purchase, NY
1996 Threnody, Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase, NY
1995 Cleve Gray: Romantic/Modern, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
1994 Neuberger Museum of Art, Harrison, NY
1992-1993 Threnody, Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase, NY
1991 Cleve Gray: New Work, Berry-Hill Gallery, New York, NY
1991 Eva Cohon Gallery, Chicago, IL
1991 Cleve Gray, Highland Park, Chicago, IL
1990 Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY
1990 Cleve Gray: The Painted Line, Berry-Hill Gallery, New York, NY
1990 Cleve Gray: The Painted Line, Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT
1990 Cleve Gray Paintings: 1980-1990, Central Connecticut State University, Samuel S. T. Chen Art Center, New Britain, CT

Selected Collections
Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME
Columbia University Art Gallery, New York, NY
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University, New York, NY
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Vanderbilt Art Gallery, Nashville, TN
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Willard Gibbs Research Laboratory, Yale University, New Haven, CT

1987 Governor’s Connecticut Art Award
1958,60,62,64, University of Illinois Purchase Award, 146th Annual Exhibition Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
1946-47 New York Times critic Edward Alden Jewell picks Gray’s painting London Ruins #1 for Critic’s Choice exhibition at Grand Central Art Gallery, New York City