NEW EXHIBIT OF "PERNE SERIES" BY ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST CLEVE GRAY OPENS AUGUST 18TH AT THE MORRISON GALLERY IN KENT – An exhibit of works by Abstract Expressionist Cleve Gray opens Saturday, August 18th at The Morrison Gallery with a reception from 5-7 pm. The show at the major New England gallery features the "Perne Series." This group of paintings was created during the late seventies and is considered to be the most accomplished work by Gray, who died in 2004. The exhibit will run through September 30th.
The Perne Series paintings reveal Gray's affinity for Chinese calligraphy within the context of modern abstract expressionism. Softly vibrating fields of color seem to allow these gestural flourishes to hover weightlessly in a sea of their own making. With this series Gray was able to bring about a graceful resolution of opposites -- transparent and opaque, light and dark, amorphous and defined. The whirling weaving motion of a perne that was so beautifully described in Yeats' poem, "Sailing to Byzantium" became the axis upon which these elegant compositions continue to revolve.
Cleve Gray was born in New York on Sept. 22, 1918 and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton with a degree in art and archaeology. While at Princeton, he studied Chinese art with the noted scholar George Rowley. Following Army service in World War II, where he sketched wartime destruction in Europe, he began informal studies with the French artists André Lhote and Jacques Villon. He had his first solo exhibition at the Jacques Seligmann Gallery in New York in 1947, and his work is now included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and many other museums.
The Morrison Gallery is located at 8 Old Barn Road near the intersection of Routes 7 and 341. Opened in 1999, the soaring, modern gallery offers on going exhibits of sculpture, painting and other media under the direction of owner William Morrison.