Dick Wray, a native Houstonian,born in Heights Hospital in 1933 was primarily educated in Houston, Texas. He took free art lessons at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in his early teens, graduated from Lamar High School (Houston, Texas) and, following military service in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955, enrolled in the School of Architecture of the University of Houston from 1955 to 1958. He finished his studies at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, Germany in 1959.
Wray took off for Europe in 1958 to discover for himself the center of the art world, starting his journey in Paris. The two years spent in Europe laid the foundation for his painting career. Inspired by the art of the abstract expressionists, the work of the artists of the CoBrA group and the New York Abstract Expressionists – which he saw for the first time in Europe – Wray returned to Houston at age 26 knowing for certain that he wanted to be an artist, not an architect. Little did he know then that one day he would be referred to in the Houston Chronicle (1989) as an “Old Master of Texas Art”.
Wray’s first competitive show was at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas Beaumont Art Museum (TX) in 1959. Since this show, Wray has exhibited consecutively for fifty-one years in a gallery or museum. He was awarded the Ford Foundation Purchase Prize in 1962, was the guest artist at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, CA in 1964, and received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1978.
Wray has had a number of solo exhibits including the “One Man Show” at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston in 1975, “Dick Wray” at The Station, Museum in Houston in 2003 and “Dick Wray – 2000 Houston Art League Texas Artist of the Year : Exhibition” at the Art League Gallery of Houston in 2000. He is one of seven artists that have contributed collectively to the evolution of Modernism in Houston, represented in the show “Artists’ Progress: Seven Houston Artists, 1943-1933” at the Glassell School of Art Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 1993 and has lived and worked long enough to be acknowledged as one of the first Texas Moderns in the 2006 exhibition “Texas Modern: The Rediscovery of Early Texas Abstraction” at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Wray continued to work out of his studio/home in Houston Heights until his death January 9, 2011. “citation“
Dick Wray’s works are continuing to be shown at William Reaves Gallery. His latest show ” DICK WRAY: EXPLOSIVE COLOR / DYNAMIC PAINT]” opened January 6, 2012.