CLEVE GRAY: The Connecticut Paintings

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VERNAL, 1963 Oil On Linen 81 X 55 Inches © courtesy Loretta Howard Gallery
PERNE #11, 1978 Acrylic On Canvas 57 X 65 Inches © courtesy Loretta Howard Gallery
CLEVE GRAY: The Connecticut Paintings

831 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles , CA 90038
April 12th, 2012 - June 10th, 2012
Opening: April 12th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

+1 323 462-2790
10:00am - 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday
photography, conceptual, pop, figurative, modern, sculpture


Diane Rosenstein is pleased to announce Cleve Gray: The Connecticut Paintings, the Inaugural exhibition in her new gallery -- Diane Rosenstein Fine Art -- in Beverly Hills.

Cleve Gray: The Connecticut Paintings is the first major exhibition of Gray's work in Los Angeles, and includes fifteen paintings dating from 1963:  his breakthrough into color-based gestural expressionism. During this period Gray developed a lasting friendship with Barnett Newman and experienced an artistic metamorphosis, dissolving earlier Cubist compositions in a sea of distilled color.  Here he has infused the ethos of Abstract Expressionism with the discretion of Chinese art, creating work that speaks to the supremacy of redemptive content.   

Also on view are a series of watercolors, dating from 1967. These works are mystical abstractions, revealing Gray's inclinations toward Chinese landscape painting.

“Above all else, Cleve Gray is a painter whose work exemplifies his belief that art in its highest form is visual philosophy.”  (John Yau)

Mr. Gray achieved his greatest critical recognition in the late 1960's and 70's when he began to produce large paintings using a variety of application methods - pouring, staining, sponging and other nontraditional techniques - to create compositions combining expanses of pure color and spontaneous calligraphic gestures. 

Cleve Gray exhibited at Staempfli; then at Betty Parsons Gallery (New York) from 1970-1983.  His paintings are in over 40 Museums and 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 Fine Arts, (Houston), The Museum of Modern Art, The Newark Museum, The Phillips Collection, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.


Cleve Gray was born in New York in 1918. In 1940 he graduated from Princeton, and wrote his thesis on Chinese landscape painting under the tutelage of George Rowley.  In 1957 he married Francine du Plessix, who became well known as a novelist and essayist. Mrs du Plessix Gray is the daughter of the artist Alexander Liberman, the longtime Editorial Director of Conde Nast.

He also wrote frequently about art and was a contributing editor for Art in America. Cleve Gray died in 2004 at the home in Warren, Connecticut where he had lived since 1949.


Diane Rosenstein Fine Art (DRFA) is a new contemporary gallery located at 9399 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Built in 2010 by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, DRFA has 4,000 square feet of exhibition space on the ground floor level.  DRFA is located on the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Canon Drive.

Cleve Gray: The Connecticut Paintings will be on view from April 12 – June 10th from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. at 9399 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills. For further information, please contact Diane Rosenstein at (323) 397-9225, or email