GRAY is pleased to announce GRAY at 60, an exhibition and accompanying book commemorating six decades since the gallery’s founding in 1963 by Richard Gray (1928-2018).
Featuring works by sixty historical and living artists whose practices have been integral to the gallery’s vision, GRAY at 60 presents the legacy and future of one of the United States’s longest running galleries. The exhibition opens at GRAY Chicago on January 26, 2023 and remains on view through March 11, and will be on view at GRAY New York from March 31 through May 26.
GRAY at 60 pursues a single material—paper—across more than one hundred years of art history to survey the myriad ways in which artists use the medium as an index of touch and a surface for immediacy. The exhibition takes root in the gallery’s intertwined histories of presenting canonical artists alongside those reinventing the canon itself.
As gallery Principal Paul Gray notes, “From the beginning of the gallery there was the eclectic mission of acquiring, exhibiting, and dealing in the masters of the century’s first half such as Matisse, Picasso, Léger, Giacometti, and Gorky, combined with representing and exhibiting prominent mid-career artists of the time, Calder, de Kooning, Avery, and Morris Louis, as well as exhibitions for young and emerging artists like 26 year-old Bob Thompson whom the gallery presented in its inaugural show in 1963.”
Principal Valerie Carberry adds, “The artists featured in GRAY at 60 represent who we are now. Our long history of presenting major artists of the 20th century is also an ever-renewing history of art in our own time. For instance, when we showed de Kooning, he was a contemporary artist. The anniversary exhibition expresses our enthusiasm for supporting artists’ careers over time and for always building for the future.”
Reflecting on this history, GRAY at 60 makes space for Modernist, Abstract Expressionist, Pop, Contemporary, and other expansive practices to be shown along side one another. These transhistorical readings posit a logic for the works of Agnes Martin and Barnett Newman to hang alongside a tar paper work by Theaster Gates; for the colorful forms of Joan Miró, Jackson Pollock, Grace Hartigan, and Helen Frankenthaler to enter into dialogue with McArthur Binion’s and Carrie Moyer’s; for Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to converse with Alex Katz and David Hockney; for a balance between the sculptors Alexander Calder, Jaume Plensa, and Torkwase Dyson’s impressions in two dimensions; and for Rashid Johnson’s figures to join those by Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, and Philip Guston.
In considering these conversions of art-making across time, GRAY at 60 finds the medium of paper a fitting ledger with which to trace the years past and those to come.
PUBLICATION | GRAY is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of GRAY at 60, a book accompanying the exhibition and surveying the gallery’s six decades of giving a platform to artists’ visions. GRAY at 60 features an extensive contribution from Elizabeth Broun, PhD, Director Emerita of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and texts from artists Bethany Collins, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates, Ewan Gibbs, Rashid Johnson, Alex Katz, Jaume Plensa, and others.
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