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.