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Chaim Gross Works Biography


Chaim Gross (1904 Austria–1991 USA) will always be remembered as one of the foremost American sculptors who practiced direct carving in wood. This installation of graphic works and sculptures in wood and bronze, executed between 1932 and 1976, celebrates his long, prolific career and the beneficent gift of his Acrobatic Performers from the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation.

Chaim Gross is best known for his hardwood carvings, figurative sculptures, and graphic work. He is also considered one of the pioneers of the direct carving method. Born in Wolowa (now part of Poland), Gross immigrated to the United States in 1921 and was quickly embraced by New York’s artists, including Elie Nadelman, another Jewish émigré. He studied at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design with Nadelman, and the Art Students League with Robert Laurent. Gross carved families, children at play, and the acrobats that came to his small town of Wolowa in the summer. He worked almost exclusively in hardwoods because they reminded him of his father, a lumberjack who whittled small figurines in his spare time.


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