Sidney Gross (1921-1969)

Sidney Gross (1921-1969).  Oil on canvas measures 37 x 40 inches; 38 x 41 inches in simple wood strip frame original to the piece. Signed lower right. Excellent condition with no damage or restoration.

SOLD

Biography:

Bernard Schiff, later to become curator of the Smithsonian collection, wrote in The New York Post, “of the mature, seasoned and genuine painters … who have been working in the non objective mode for some considerable years, one who strikes me consistently as being of major size and substance is Sidney Gross.”“There is a concentration here of what I must call – paying proper respect to the words – a notable beauty; they are works of heroic force. Gross’ colors are magnificent. It is not a simple question of how they look but what, in a deeper sense, they do to the mind. They activate sensation and emotion; they stimulate thought and beyond that, connection and feeling. It is senseless to attempt in specific language to describe them, since one cannot really speak of the colors by themselves. They are not to be separated from the force of the shapes, symbols, motion and, indeed events which they describe and in their effect are. Gross’ paintings are dramas and sagas of experience and of feeling, descriptions at the moment of the very process of their being.”

“These are extravagant words because they are meant to be.  Gross is a superb artist.  His soul and mind and heart are in these works.  This must be how thought, feeling and sensationare at the instant of their becoming and Gross is able to give form and shape and visual materiality to these mysterious processes of the mind.”

Sidney Gross showed early promise as a painter of significance.  He attended the Art Students League on scholarship, and later taught there in the 1960s.  He died at the height of his career.  Unfortunately, unlike many of his contemporaries whose work became more valuable after their deaths, circumstances combined to obscure his work.  He had no children; his first wife died; his wife of a few months donated over 100 paintings to Art Students League, which is not an exhibiting institution; his sister put an equal number in storage; the owner of the long time Rehn Gallery, which had given him almost annual solo exhibits from 1949 to 1969 died leaving no family members to take over the gallery.  His assistant kept it going for a few more years.

PERMANENT COLLECTIONS
Albright Art Gallery
Allentown Museum of Art – 1967
American Academy of Arts & Letters – Childe Hassam Fund – 2 paintings
Baltimore Museum – 1961
Brandeis University -1956
Butler Institute of American Art – 1953, 1961, 2004
Walter P. Chrysler Museum – 1960
Colby College – 1958
Columbia University – 1962
Cornell University – 1958
Corcoran Gallery of Art – 1961
Israel Museum of Art – Jerusalem – 1965
Lempert Institute – 20 paintings purchased 1948-52
James Michner Collection – University of Texas – 1967
Morgan State College – 1961 – reproduction available
Norfolk Museum of Art – 1962
Oklahoma Art Center – 1968
Provincetown Art Museum -1969
Princeton Museum – before1953
Mt. Holyhoke University – 1950
Michigan State University – 1960,1966
Norfolk Museum 1961
Riverside Museum – 1959, 1963, 1966
Standard Financial Corporation 1958, 1959, 1960
Syracuse University – 1963, 1965
Washington Gallery of Modern Art – 1962
Whitney Museum – purchases 1945, 1946, 1955
University of Georgia – 1949
University of Illinois – 1959
University of Omaha – 1951
University of Maryland 1965
University of Rochester – 1966
University of Texas – James Michner Collection
(date indicates when entered in collection)

SELECTED INVITATIONAL EXHIBITS
Whitney Museum – multiple exhibits beginning in 1945
Armory Show – 1945
Brooklyn Museum – 1945
Metropolitan Museum of Art – 1950
Museum of Modern Art, New York – 1949, 1959, 1961
Carnegie Museum of Art – multiple exhibits beginning 1951
Corcoran Museum of Art – multiple exhibits
Pennsylvania Academy of Art – multiple exhibits beginning 1945
University of Nebraska
Institute of Contemporary Art – Boston – 1951
National Academy of Design – 1946, 1948
Toledo Museum of Art – 1947
Nelson Gallery – 1951
Albright Art Gallery – 1947, 49, 1951
Butler Institute of American Art – several exhibits beginning 1953
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – 1949
Detroit Institute of Art – 1951
Milwaukee Art Institute – 1946, 1951
Joslyn Art Museum – 1954
Jewish Museum, NYC
Art USA – 1958, 1959
Hallmark Traveling Exhibit – 1949
Pepsi Cola Traveling Exhibit – 1945, 1946
Washington Gallery of MA – 1962, 1966
Des Moines Art Center – 1951
Isaac Delgado Museum – 1951
Federation of Modern Painters & Sculpturors – annually from 1947-67
Audubon Artists – annually from 1949-67
American Academy of Arts & Letters – 1950, 1955, 1958
National Institute of Arts & Letters – 1967
Riverside Museum – multiple since 1957
Hallmark – National Tour – 1950-51
American Federation of Arts – National tour 1958-60
Hallmark – European tour – 1952
Brazil – Contemporary Arts – 1956
Puerto Rico – 1959
Minneapolis Art Institute – 1946

Birth place: NYC

Addresses: NYC

Profession: Painter

Studied: ASL.

Exhibited: WMAA, 1945-49; CI, 1946-49; PAFA, 1948-53; NAD,1940, 1947, 1949-50; Albright Art Gal., 1946; BM, 1945; Armory Show, 1945; TMA, 1947; VMFA, 1948; Univ. Illinois, 1949; Illinois Wesleyan College, 1949; Walker AC, 1948; Univ. Nebraska, 1948; Audubon Artists, 1947-52; MMA, 1950; Hallmark exhib., 1949; Florida State Univ., 1951; Fed. Mod. P&S, 1947-52; Pepsi-Cola, 1946-48; Contemporary Arts Gal., 1945 (solo), 1946 (solo); Corcoran Gal. biennials, 1953-63; Rehn Gal., 1949 (solo), 1950 (solo), 1953 (solo), 1954 (solo), 1956 (solo), 1958 (solo), 1961 (solo); Minneapolis IA, 1946 (solo); Art: USA, 1958 (grand prize). Other awards: ASL, 1939-40 (scholarships); Schnackenberg Scholarship, 1940-41; Tiffany Fnd. Fellowship, 1949.

Member: Audubon Artists; Fed. Mod. P&S; AEA; Woodstock AA

Work: CGA; Riverside Mus., NY; WMAA; Univ. Georgia; Univ. Omaha; Mt. Holyoke College; Butler AI; Lempert Inst., NY; Am. Acad. Arts & Letters; Brandeis Univ.; Cornell Univ.

Comments: Teaching: Parsons School Des., NYC; ASL, summer, 1958; Columbia Univ., NYC.

Sources: WW66; WW47; Woodstock AA; Falk, Exh. Record Series.