Exposition Art Blog: Michael Gross - Israeli Painter, Sculptor and Conceptual Artist

Michael Gross - Israeli Painter, Sculptor and Conceptual Artist

Michael Gross ( 1920 – 2004) was an Israeli painter, sculptor and conceptual artist.Michael Gross was born in Tiberias in the British-administered Palestine in 1920. He grew up in the farming village of Migdal. In 1939-1940, he left to study at the Teachers’ Training College in Jerusalem. In 1939, while he was away, his father was murdered by Arabs, and the family farm and home were destroyed. This event impacted on his work as an artist.From 1943 to 1945, he studied architecture at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. From 1951 to 1954, he studied art at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He returned to Israel in 1954 and settled in the artists’ village of Ein Hod.
"After making drawings and paintings of plants, landscapes, and buildings over many years, I decided to try abstraction. This change opened up a new world for me to explore how I could express my feelings—at times, joy, at other moments, sorrow, as well as pain and fear—more directly. This gave me far greater power and the freedom to experiment continually.The painters who have influenced me most are Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Richard Diebenkorn, whom I consider the pre-eminent artists of abstract expressionism. I have tried to emulate them in my own small way.My choice of paints has varied. Earlier in my career, I used oil predominantly and, more recently, acrylic. For the last several years, I have moved towards much brighter colors in more open space, and to significantly larger canvases. Most of the works in this exhibition use at least two canvases together to create the final work.Over time, my color palette has evolved. Before the paintings in the American University Museum exhibition, I spent a number of years focusing on making paintings that were predominantly monochromatic (black, yellow, red, etc.) with subtle inclusion of other colors onto the surface, as well as from underneath.I use yellow in many shades as well as orange, green, and blue, with brown as an accent, making connections between the larger yellow sections. There are many extended narrow lines in black as well as other colors that weave the work together. I work rapidly, pacing the studio to look at the painting up close, and then from a distance. I often rotate the canvas so I can see where there is imbalance, flinging paint to create lines and movement. This new focus has produced very large paintings that are filled with color, carefully constructed so that every mark attains its rightful place in equilibrium."Michael Gross ( michaelgrossart.com )

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