Since 1980, Gregory has been active in the contemporary art market in the United States and Europe. He began collecting regional art in Chicago, and shortly thereafter became involved with national and international galleries, first via Art Chicago, and then by frequent travel to New York.
After moving from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1985, Gregory co-founded New Strategies, one of the first of the “salon-style” galleries in the evolving contemporary art scene in Southern California in the 1980s. New Strategies was the first gallery to present the work of Richard Prince, Larry Johnson and Andres Serrano in Los Angeles.
Gregory moved to London in 1990, where he developed relationships with galleries, curators and artists in Europe. Returning to New York in 1993, he was the first employee of David Zwirner Gallery, before joining the marketing department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There, Gregory was among the pioneers of web-based marketing and participated in the American Alliance of Museums' "digital museum" discussion group, the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO). In 2003 Gregory founded linn press, specialists in contemporary art.
In spring 2009, linn press was invited to be guest curators of "FIVE," at BAIBAKOV art projects (Moscow). This was the first in-depth presentation of work in Russia by the then-emerging American artists Walead Beshty, Matthew Brannon, Wade Guyton, Sterling Ruby and Kelley Walker. This exhibition looked at the aesthetic lineages of Donald Judd, Robert Indiana, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra and Andy Warhol to these five younger artists. Since then, linn press has organized or contributed to numerous curatorial projects, Los Angeles, Miami Beach, Moscow and New York.
Gregory manages several key client relationships in the United States, Mexico and Europe. He is also responsible for quantitative and qualitative research for client purchases and market and insurance valuations. He is also our in-house editor and Internet content manager.
Gregory is a member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's William Society, as well as The New Century Club and Legacy Society of The Art Institute of Chicago. He has also been a benefactor to The Art Institute of Chicago, City of Chicago (Department of Cultural Affairs), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.
Gregory graduated from Western Illinois University, concentrating in business and marketing. He has served on the boards of the Sculpture Center (Long Island City, New York) and the Arcadia University Art Gallery (Glenside, Pennsylvania).
Clay started collecting contemporary art as an undergraduate, initially buying small-editioned multiples. In 1980, he began collecting art in earnest, first in Chicago and then in New York and Los Angeles.
After relocating to Los Angeles in 1985, he was a partner in New Strategies, while working for Towers Perrin management consultants. Subsequently, Clay was a partner at A.T. Kearney and Accenture where he specialized in strategy, marketing and operations. In 2001, Clay opened a specialty consulting practice dedicated to family offices and non-profits. He merged his consulting practice into linn press, specialists in contemporary art in 2006, where he is a partner.
Clay wears many hats in the contemporary art business. As an educator and scholar, Clay has been an adjunct professor at New York University, where he has taught art history and art market economics since 2012. Clay previously taught art economics, strategy and marketing at FIT/SUNY and strategy and marketing at the Mountbatten Program (New York). Since 2016, he has been an independent scholar working at the Institute of Fine Arts and Princeton University.
He was the consulting scholar on BOOM, a May 2019 title about the development of the contemporary art market and its social history written by Michael Shnayerson published by Public Affairs. As an essayist, he recently contributed essays to Disidencia: Minerva Cuevas (Mishkin Gallery, 2019), Germán Venegas. Todo Lo Otro (Museo Tamayo, 2019) and More Heart Than Brains: The Collected Plays of Bailey Scieszka (What Pipeline, 2019) and Robert Mangold, A Survey 1965-2003 (Mnuchin Gallery, 2017). As an author, Clay wrote REDS (Mnuchin Gallery, 2017), Next to Nothing. Close to Nowhere: Kathleen Jacobs (2016) LOVE STORY, Anne and Wolfgang Titze Collection, (Belvedere u. 21er Haus, 2014) and [PIAT] FIVE (Baibakov Art Projects, 2010.) He is a contributing journalist at Forbes.com, where he has contributed 100 essays. He formerly wrote for Arteviste.com, a London-based digital arts platform.
As a collaborator and curator, Clay helped to script and perform in Point of Sale, a 2002 three-screen, time-based media work by Christian Jankowski, which is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (This was also the first work of art purchased by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, for its permanent collection.) He has also worked helped to organize numerous exhibitions in Los Angeles, Miami Beach, Moscow and New York.
As a market observer, Clay has frequently spoken about contemporary art and art markets economics in a variety of settings—from art fairs to universities—in Cologne, Miami Beach, Milan, Moscow and New York. He is also a frequent speaker about art as an asset class to private banks and wealth management firms. His opinions and insights are frequently sought by leading business publications, including Alternative Latin Investor, The Art Newspaper, Forbes Magazine, The New York Observer, The New York Times, The Robb Report, Süddeutsche Zeitung and The Wall Street Journal.
In the 1980s Clay was elected to the Board of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, where he served as Treasurer. In the 1990s he was a member of the 20th Century Acquisitions Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Currently, Clay is a patron of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago. With Gregory, he has been a benefactor to The Art Institute of Chicago, City of Chicago (Department of Cultural Affairs), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.
Clay graduated from the University of Rochester, with concentrations in anthropology and art history, where he was awarded the Genesee Scholarship and the Francis G. Wells Scholarship for academic excellence. He completed his master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Subsequently, he completed PhD studies in anthropology and material culture at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale). He was a Doctoral Research Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, University of the West Indies, Barbados.