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Don't Miss: Massive Artwork Out of Storage for Anniversary

Sometimes artist Cleve Gray used janitors' push brooms as brushes and mixed his paints in plastic swimming pools.

"Threnody" on display; photo courtesy Neuberger Museum
"Threnody" on display; photo courtesy Neuberger Museum

A monumental painting that has become part of local history is back on display, temporarily, at Purchase College.

Twenty-eight massive panels form Threnody (1972–73), the 22-foot tall, 250-foot-long artwork commissioned for the opening of the Neuberger Museum on the college campus. A "lament for the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War," the painting was considered by artist Cleve Gray an opportunity to express his hope for humanity’s spiritual and emotional healing.

As part of the Neuberger Museum's 40th anniversary celebration, the monumental artwork is on view through March 23, in Cleve Gray’s Threnody: Forty Years, organized by Assistant Curator Avis Larson.

About his approach to large-scale logistics, Gray wrote in 1975 that he “had a 20’ x 20’ easel constructed…it had a hoist so that it could be raised to the vertical position.” In addition, he used very large brushes, sometimes janitors’ push brooms, and plastic swimming pools in which to mix his paints.

Larson said in a press release that Threnody continues to have an impact on viewers 40 years after it was first exhibited. "In many ways we are facing similar issues relating to war and the loss of innocent lives, in addition to the many other situations we have to confront here in the United States, such as gun violence."

If you go:

Where: 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, NY.  

More info: 914-251-6100   

Museum Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

For persons with special needs: designated parking is available at the south end of the Museum building. Call ahead for wheelchair accommodations.

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