John Adams Griefen has been a painter all his life. He studied painting at Bennington College, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Hunter College, and he received his BA in art history at Williams College.
Griefen lived and worked in New York City for more than 40 years. He was a friend of the critic Clement Greenberg, an influential friendship that lasted until Greenberg’s death in 1994. Greenberg was a frequent visitor in his TriBeCa studio over the years. In 1969, he had his first one-man exhibition at the Kornblee Gallery and in 1970 he was one of twenty-eight artists represented in the Lyrical Abstraction show, a definitive collection exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He was represented by the Deitcher/O’Reilly Gallery, William Edward O’Reilly, Inc., and Salander/O’Reilly Galleries. Griefen had sixteen solo shows of his work in New York; twenty national and international shows in Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, Beverly Hills; Edmonton, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Monpazier, Cause de Clérans, France; and Berlin. He was in sixty-three group exhibitions in the United States, from New York to Miami, from Washington, D.C., to Santa Barbara and Houston; and eleven international group shows including Lisbon, Paris, Antibes, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Sydney.
In 1981, the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a painting. Other acquisitions followed by the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.; Boston Museum of Fine Art; Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa.; JPMorgan Chase Bank, New York; Edmonton Art Gallery, Canada; National Gallery of Victoria and the Sydney Museum in Australia; and forty-two other museums, galleries, corporations, universities and libraries.
Griefen’s book, VOIR DIRE MALSTROM, is owned by Harvard University, the New York Public Library, New York University, and Dartmouth College.
Griefen lives and works in St Avit-Sénieur, France.