In 1972 -73 Gray produced "Threnody", a suite a 14 paintings, each measuring 20 feet by 20 feet, dedicated to the dead on both sides in 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.
"The painting of Threnody occupied me for the years 1923-73. I felt that tragedy had been manifested more intensely during those years and in the preceding decade than at any other time in American history. Iniquity, futile death and destruction surrounded us with little relief. This sense of tragedy in the sixties and seventies insisted itself upon me as the subject matter fro the walls I had been asked to paint in the Neuberger Museum, for I felt that the heroic space encompassed by these walls - roughly 100" X 60" X 22" high - required an heroic subject. The vertical form in each of the fourteen panels is a symbol which conforms to my understanding of reality - the inseparability of life from death, the reconciliation of opposite. Yin and Yang." Cleve Gray
Check out his website and view the “Threnody paintings as well as other paintings, drawings and sculpture. Click on “Studio time”, a slideshow of Gray’s studio.