Cleve Gray (1918-2004) was an American painter, sculptor and writer who lived and worked in Connecticut. He is most known for his Lyrical Abstraction completed on a large scale and in vivid colors. Gray graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University, where he studied painting and Far Eastern Art. Like many of his generation, he joined the United States Army during World War II, serving in England, France, and Germany. After the war, he remained in Paris on the GI Bill, where he furthered his study of painting. During the 1960s he formed a close friendship with Barnett Newman. It was during this time that he experienced an artistic metamorphosis, dissolving his earlier cubist compositions in a sea of distilled color. This dramatic body of work marked the beginning of an artistic meditation that would last for over 40 years. The rigors of French modernism, the ethos of Abstract Expressionism and the calligraphic restraint of eastern art commingle with astounding effect.
Gray has exhibited at a number of important institutions including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The artist is also represented in a number of important public collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Smithsonian, The Jewish Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Museum of Modern Art, The Newark Museum, The Phillips Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art.