Chaim Gross


Chaim Gross (1904-1991) is best known for his lively, naturalistic, often interlocking figure compositions. After immigrating to the U.S. from Poland/Austria in 1921, Gross studied at the Educational Alliance Art School on the Lower East Side. He was strongly influenced by the school’s director, Abbo Ostrowsky, and in that first year met Isaac and Moses Soyer, as well as Philip Evergood, Peter Blume, Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, and Saul Baizerman. Gross also met Raphael Soyer, who was then studying at the National Academy of Design and who became his lifelong friend. Gross was welcomed into the Soyer home, whose warm atmosphere was a dimension that had been missing in his life since his family had been dispersed in 1914. In 1922 he began sculpture and drawing classes at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design where Elie Nadelman, from whom he studied modeling in clay from the live model, became his most influential teacher. From that time, Chaim Gross claimed the human figure as his most important subject, and shortly after he determined that direct wood carving was the appropriate technique for him. Gross stayed with this commitment to wood carving until the late 1950s when he switched to bronze. HIs early bronzes were cast from wood carvings and, as a result, resembled wood carving. In 1959, several of his bronzes were exhibited in a retrospective, “Four American Expressionists,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

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Chaim Gross
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