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About The Exhibition
This exhibition celebrates the remarkable collection of drawings assembled by the collecting couple Richard Gray, one of America’s foremost art dealers, and art historian Mary L. Gray.
Amassed over the course of nearly 50 years, the collection encompasses works produced in Europe and the United States between the fifteenth and the twenty-first centuries, tracing the long and distinguished history of one medium: drawing.
The human figure, expressed directly and intimately, is the collection’s primary focus, demonstrating the capacity of drawing to represent and interpret the body. While there are numerous works by established artists—Rubens, Boucher, Degas, Van Gogh, Seurat, Matisse, Picasso, and Hockney, among others—the Grays were more interested in skill than celebrity, and they also collected many exceptional drawings by lesser-known draftsmen.
Often keenly aware of their place in art history, the artists in the collection engaged in lively conversations on paper with contemporaries and forebears. Other visual connections are apparent only in hindsight, a point of view afforded by the chronological breadth of the Gray Collection. Juxtaposing drawings from distinct periods and places, this exhibition illuminates the affinities and tensions that have emerged throughout the medium’s evolution.
Image: Georges Seurat, Landscape (ca. 1881) / photo by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc., courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum