Gray Foy, One of Steve Martin’s Favorite Artists, Is Getting a Rare Show in New York—See His Meticulous Drawings Here

Although he was best known as a fixture of the New York social scene, Gray Foy was a premiere draughtsman.

Gray Foy, New York City, 1960. Photo: Vivian Crozier.

Up until his death in 2012, Gray Foy was perhaps best known as the longtime companion of former Vanity Fair features editor Leo Lerman—and as a bon vivant of a particular New York society. But he was also a serious artist whose supremely detailed and imaginative work recalls both M.C. Escher and Hieronymus Bosch.

A new exhibition makes the case that Foy’s drawings deserve a place in the canon of early Surrealist work. More than 30 works by the artist are now on view in “Gray Foy: Drawings 1941–1975” at Francis Naumann Fine Arts in New York. Many of the works in the show are being displayed for the first time—a cache of the artist’s drawings was recently discovered hidden in desk drawers, long-forgotten but miraculously preserved.

One of Foy’s earliest fans was the actor and avid art collector Steve Martin. In 2004, Martin wrote a story in The New York Times recounting his first meeting with Foy and Lerman, when he had a chance to see “the masterpiece in the hallway,” the jewel of the exhibition, Dimensions (ca. 1945–46). Martin bought the drawing from Foy directly and donated it to the Museum of Modern Art, which lent it to the gallery for this show.

See more of Gray Foy’s drawings below:


Gray Foy, Untitled [Assemblage of Fungi, Leaf, Vines, and Branches in Wood Box] (1969). © 2018 Estate of Gray Foy.

Gray Foy, Dimensions (ca. 1945–46). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2018 Estate of Gray Foy.

Gray Foy, Untitled [Nudes Emerging from Botanical and Avian Forms] (1948). © 2018 Estate of Gray Foy.

Gray Foy, Untitled [Twisted Fungi] (ca. 1970). © 2018 Estate of Gray Foy.

Gray Foy, Saprophytic Landscape (1960). © Estate of Gray Foy, courtesy of Francis Naumann Fine Art.

Gray Foy, Thicket (1958). © Estate of Gray Foy, courtesy of Francis Naumann Fine Art.


“Gray Foy: Drawings 1941–1975” is on view through November 16, 2018, at Francis Naumann Fine Arts, located at 24 West 57 Street, Suite 305.



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