Grigoryev was born in Lugansk, Ukraine in 1910. He studied at the Zaporozhe Arts and Crafts School from 1923-26 and subsequently in Moscow and Kiev.
He began to exhibit in 1932 and he became a leading painter of everyday-life genre subjects. Well known works include Admission into the Komsomol (1949 Kiev Museum of Ukrainian Art), The goalkeeper (1949 Tretyakov Gallery), Discussion of the low mark (1950 Tretyakov Gallery), He's come back (1954 Tretyakov Gallery). Grigoryev became a Soviet academician 1953 and received the Stalin Prize in 1950 and 1951. In 1974 he was awarded the title 'People's Artist of the USSR'.