Michael Marlowe and Cleve Gray

Exhibitions At Bentley Gallery

Michael Marlowe

Bentley Gallery is proud to present new work from Michael Marlowe. Marlowe’s paintings deconstruct the human body to create colorful, luxurious compositions that feel both abstract and familiar. Where a shape may initially appear innocently floral, a closer look reveals its anatomical references; bone, skin, tendons.

Above left: Michael Marlowe, Goodbye My Golden One, Oil and Charcoal on Paper, 84 x 84 inches. Below left: 26 Sacks of Gold, Oil on Paper, 6.5 x 8 inches. Above right: Stage Paintings 1-4, Not Completed, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 72 inches. 

With these enticing and thematically layered paintings, Marlowe deconstructs the figure. By forgoing the typical configuration of the human form, the works physically embody the act of self-exploration. “It’s the aspects of self we don’t show, or don’t know, that make us tick,” Marlowe says. “This opening up is in order to see around the parts we know to discover the parts we don’t.”

Above; Michael Marlowe,White Rabbit, Oil and 24k Gold Leaf on Oval and Con-Vexed Panel, 60 x 84 inches, 2017.

Michael Marlowe is a studio artist, art director and production designer working in the film and television industry. He holds an MFA in set direction for theater from Arizona State University, and has been awarded several grants, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has exhibited extensively throughout the Southwest, as well as Tampa, Cincinnati, and Chicago.

Cleve Gray

Cleve Gray (1918-2004) is a painter admired for his large-scale, vividly colorful, and lyrically gestural abstract compositions. He achieved his greatest critical recognition in the late 1960s and 1970s after working for many years in a comparatively conservative late-Cubist style. Inspired in the ‘60s by artists like Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, and Helen Frankenthaler, Gray began to produce large paintings using a variety of application methods–pouring, staining, sponging, and other non-traditional techniques–to create compositions combining expanses of pure color and spontaneous calligraphic gestures.

Above: Cleve Gray, Hatshepsut #3, Acrylic on Canvas, 60.75 x 60.75 x 2 inches, 1978.

In 1972 and 1973 he produced Threnody, a suite of 14 paintings, each measuring 20 feet by 20 feet, dedicated to the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War. The series was commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, part of the State University of New York, and is considered one of the largest groups of abstract paintings created for a specific public space.

Above: Cleve Gray, Reach #3, Acrylic on Canvas, 50 x 64 x 2 inches, 2002.

Cleve Gray has work in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; The Jewish Museum, New York, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. among others.

An opening reception will be held on

Friday, April 20 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Artist Michael Marlowe will be in attendance.



Michael Marlowe: New Works 


The Project Room: Cleve Gray

April 20 – May 18

Bentley Gallery