Richard Dick Wray — Works of Abstract Expressionism
Richard Dick Wray (1933–2011) was an American abstract expressionist painter whose work had an influence on the art scene in Houston, Texas. After an art career spanning over 50 years, he died at age 77 of liver disease. His work continues to be showcased by art institutions and organizations across Houston, including the William Reaves Gallery, and is listed on the official website for the National Gallery of Art.
In 1955, Wray received an honorable discharge from the Army and enrolled in the School of Architecture of the University of Houston. There, he would spend the next 3 years studying various forms of architecture, until leaving the school to finish his studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the Arts Academy of the city of Düsseldorf, Germany. Wray travelled to Europe in 1958 in order to discover what he believed was the “center” of the art world. The two years he spent in Europe — beginning in Paris and concluding in Germany — laid the foundation for his painting career. Though originally interested in architecture, Wray’s interactions with the work of abstract expressionists, artists of a European avant-garde movement known as the CoBrA group and New York Abstract Expressionists (which Wray also saw for the first time in Europe) had tremendous influences on his artistic passions. In effect, Wray deviated away from architecture and, equipped with new knowledge of European expressionism, returned to Texas at age 26 to begin his career as a painter