This program delves into Gross’s biography, work, and the legacy that the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation continues to preserve for the public benefit. Featuring Mimi Gross, President of the Foundation and daughter of Renee and Chaim Gross, and Sasha Davis, Executive Director of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation.
Mimi Gross is a painter, as well as a set-and-costume designer, and maker of interior and exterior installations. She has lived and worked in TriBeCa for the last 40 years, and is known especially for her portraiture, and for working with oil crayon and chalk pastel, in addition to oil paint. Gross considers portraiture a form of mutual collaboration. Her paintings have a poignant expressiveness and connection to the subject. Hers is a world of bold, unapologetic color. The directness of Gross’s portraiture, and her propensity to paint all aspects of her community can be linked in particular to the work of Alice Neel, who was a close friend.
Gross’s work can be found in the collections of the Jewish Museum, New York; the New York Public Library; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She is the recipient of awards and grants including from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for Visual Arts, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a “Bessie” for sets and costumes.
Gross grew up in South Harlem in Manhattan. Her father was Chaim Gross, the sculptor known for woodcarving, and her parents were consummate art collectors.
Sasha Davis is Executive Director of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation, the historic home and studio of American sculptor Chaim Gross (1902-91) in New York City. She is responsible for the Foundation’s operations, strategy, curatorial vision, and programming. Davis was appointed Executive Director in 2017 after serving as Curator of Collections. Prior to her work at the Foundation, Davis held internships at The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and the Newark Museum. Davis holds a BA from New York University in Art History with a minor in Studio Art and a certificate in Arts Administration and Collections Management, also from New York University. Davis regularly presents on the Foundation’s collection and the work of Gross, notably at the College Art Association, Southeastern College Arts Conference, and Provincetown Art Association and Museum. She has contributed to the Aspen Institute’s Artist-Endowed Foundation Initiative and completed the Seminar on Strategy for Artist-Endowed Foundation Leaders in 2018 with the Aspen Institute and University of Miami School of Law. She is also an alumna of the distinguished 2016 Attingham Summer School.