The veteran Chicago art dealer Richard Gray, who opened his namesake gallery in 1963, has died at home, aged 89. The dealership, which today includes two locations in Chicago and a space in New York, will continue under the direction of his son Paul Gray, and the partners Andrew Fabricant and Valerie Carberry.
Born and raised in Chicago, Gray enrolled in engineering at the University of Illinois’ city campus, expecting to join his father’s construction business, but soon transferred to the Urbana-Champaign campus to study architecture. After serving in the Air Force in Europe, Gray returned to Chicago and in 1953 married Mary Kay Lackritz, whose family owned paintings by Miro, Kandinsky and Pollock. He soon started to develop an interest in the visual arts and his friend, the sculptor and critic Harry Bouras, gave Gray the idea to open a gallery after he organised a show at his father's summer resort in 1963.
In 1996, under the aegis of Paul Gray’s direction, the gallery opened a space on Madison Avenue in New York. In 2017, Richard Gray Gallery opened a second Chicago space. Known as the Gray Warehouse, it occupies 5,000 square feet of space and is located in the city’s West End neighborhood.
Richard Gray Gallery now regularly shows work by some of the key artists of the past half-century, among them Alex Katz, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Theaster Gates, David Hockney, Dine, and Rashid Johnson.