Join us virtually this fall for the return of our Artists and Immigrants series. On Wednesday, September 22 at 6 pm Parker Field will discuss the life and work of artist Arshile Gorky (c. 1904–1948).
Born Vosdanig Adoian in the village of Khorkom, Van, on the western border of the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey), Gorky came to the United States in 1920 after escaping the Armenian genocide. Shortly thereafter, under the new name Arshile Gorky, he moved to New York where he would become a flamboyant and central figure of the downtown art scene for twenty years. The discussion will present Gorky's biography – its traumas and successes – as well as the ways in which the artist himself, in addition to his work, resisted his own biography. Of what use is biography in assessing someone who made himself up?
The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required.
Parker Field is a writer and art historian in New York. He currently serves as the Managing Director of the Arshile Gorky Foundation, where they are completing research on a forthcoming digital catalogue raisonné of Gorky's complete works. The first installment of the catalogue raisonné will be published online with free access in October 2021.
Join us on Wednesday, June 9 at 6 pm, as we welcome Debra Caplan who will discuss a brief history of Yiddish theater's journey and impact from its origins in Eastern Europe, to the global travels of the Vilna Troupe, to the Lower East Side. Yiddish theater was a popular form of entertainment in New York City in the early 20th century. As a Yiddish speaker, Chaim Gross and his friends attended theater and vaudeville performances, including those of the Vilna Troupe. Gross utilized the performances as opportunities to view the human body in motion, which was a central part of his work.
The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required.
Debra Caplan is Associate Professor of Theater at Baruch College, City University of New York. Her 2018 book, Yiddish Empire: The Vilna Troupe, Jewish Theater, and the Art of Itinerancy won the 2019 George Freedley Memorial Prize from the Theatre Library Association and the Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize from the Modern Language Association. She is currently working on a book about Yiddish theater actress Molly Picon.
Join us for the next installment of our Artists and Immigrants series with Laurie Wilson who will discuss the life and work of artist Louise Nevelson (1899-1988). Born in Russia, Nevelson came to the United States with her parents as a child. After moving to New York City in 1920, she primarily did painting and drawing until the 1930s. In 1934 as an artist participating in the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Nevelson taught painting to children while also studying sculpture with Chaim Gross. It was then that she discovered her lifelong vocation. Though Gross and Nevelson had different memories on the length of her study, both recognized that she had innate talent and a natural sense for working in three dimensions. She emerged firmly planted on her artistic path as a sculptor.
The program takes place on Wednesday, May 12 at 6 pm EDT. The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required.
Laurie Wilson is a psychoanalyst, art historian, and art therapist. She received psychoanalytic training at the NYU Psychoanalytic Institute and is on the faculty at Psychoanalytic Association of New York (PANY) affiliated with NYU School of Medicine. She has published extensively in three fields including Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic and the Man (Yale, 2003) and Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow (Thames & Hudson, 2016).
Join us for the fourth installment of our Artists and Immigrants series with Alexandra Keiser, PhD, who will discuss the artist Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964). Dr. Keiser’s presentation addresses Archipenko's experience of multiple immigrations. She will focus on aspects of his processes of acculturation and what they would mean for his artistic practice. Initially, Archipenko left Kiev in 1908 and moved to Paris. In 1921, he married the German Expressionist sculptor Angelica (Gela) Forster (1892-1957) and relocated to Berlin. In 1923, the couple immigrated to the USA, where Archipenko worked and taught in many places, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and upstate New York.
The program takes place on Wednesday, April 14 at 6 pm EDT. The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required.
Alexandra Keiser is research curator at the Archipenko Foundation. She holds a doctoral degree from the Courtauld Institute in London and a master's degree in art history from the University of Trier in Germany. Dr. Keiser has lectured and published widely on the artist Alexander Archipenko and is co-editor of the Archipenko catalogue raisonné. She curated the traveling retrospective: Archipenko: A Modern Legacy (2015-2018) and co-edited the book Archipenko Revisited (2008).
Photo: Alexander Archipenko working on the sculpture "Moses" in 1939. The image comes from the artist's archives, courtesy of the Archipenko Foundation.
How can cross-cultural conversations about migration from Eastern Europe throughout the Americas better inform us about the importance of art in constructing identity and forging community? How did the experience of migration impact these artists' careers; and conversely, how did art impact their experiences of migration or displacement?
Join us for our two part program Wednesday, March 3 at 6 pm EST and Thursday, March 18 at 6pm EDT as Emma Young, the Foundation's 2020-21 Mellon Foundation Public Humanities Fellow, moderates a virtual conversation with three distinguished scholars from Brazil: Helouise Costa, Claudia Mattos Avolese, and Maria Luiza Tucci Carneiro. The presenters will delve into the questions above as well as discuss 20th century migration from Eastern Europe to South America and the particular lessons and challenges faced. The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required.
This program is slightly different than our past virtual programs. There will be both pre-recorded segments and a live Q&A with the presenters. Some pre-recorded segments will be in Portuguese with English subtitles. We look forward to your participation in the third installment of our Artists and Immigrants series.
Helouise Costa is a curator and professor at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC USP) where she is in charge of researching and curating the museum’s collection with an emphasis on the relationship between art and photography. The emergence and the development of modern photography in Brazil has been a major theme of her studies. She is coauthor of the books Modern Photography in Brazil (CosacNaify, 2004) and The Origins of Photojournalism in Brazil (Instituto Moreira Salles, 2012). She is currently researching the history of photographic exhibitions held in Brazil from the 1940s to the 1980s, the period in which photography became recognized as an art form.
Claudia Mattos Avolese is Professor of Art History at the University of Campinas in Brazil, and a lecturer at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. She holds a Ph.D. from the Free University in Berlin and publishes primarily on nineteenth- and twentieth-century art in Brazil and Europe. Among others, Professor Mattos Avolese has published several books and articles on the Lithuanian artist Lasar Segall. Her presentation will discuss the significance of the migration experience for Lasar Segall’s work, both in Germany and in Brazil.
Maria Luiza Tucci Carneiro is a Historian and Senior Professor in the Department of History at the University of São Paulo’s College of Philosophy, Letters, and Human Sciences. Her recent publications include Impressos Subversivos: Arte, Cultura e Política no Brasil (Editora Intermeios, 2020) and Ten Myths About the Jews (Sussex Academic Press 2020). She is the coordinator of LEER - Laboratory for the Study of Ethnicity, Racism, and Discrimination, where she is developing Travessias, A Brazilian Historical-Biographical Dictionary: The Legacy of Intellectuals, and Scientists Rooted in Brazil, which includes both international and Brazilian researchers.
Emma Young is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate in the department of History at NYU. Her research and writing center closely on the intersections of technology, ecology, and social conflict related to urbanization in Brazil. Her research seeks ways to dismantle historical patterns of socio-environmental inequality and exclusion. She is also a professional translator, most often in the Latin American arts. She is the 2020-21 Mellon Foundation Public Humanities Fellow at the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation.
Lasar Segall (Vilna Lituânia, 1889 - São Paulo, SP, 1957)
Emigrantes III, 1936, sand and oil on canvas, 86 x 197.7 cm
Collection of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil. Purchased by Governo do Estado de São Paulo, 2012. Photo: Isabella Matheus. © Museu Lasar Segall
Join us virtually for a discussion with Diana Linden, Ph.D. as she explores the life and art of Ben Shahn (1898 - 1969). Born in Lithuania, Shahn immigrated to New York with his family at eight years old. He apprenticed with a lithographer at a young age and studied for a short time at the National Academy of Design as well as the Art Students League. Shahn's career took off beginning in the 1930s, which is the decade Linden's conversation will focus on. The program takes place on Wednesday, February 10at 6 pm EST. The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required.
Dr. Diana L. Linden is the author of Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene (2015) along with many other works on Shahn, New York City Jewish artists, and New Deal Art. In 2019, she won the Frost Prize for best article in the journal Smithsonian Studies in American Art. She has also previously written on the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation in The Magazine Antiques.
Join us virtually for a conversation with Alicia Longwell, Ph.D., who will discuss the artist John D. Graham (1886-1961). Graham was a mentor to many modern artists, as well as a writer, painter, and friend of Chaim Gross's. Born in Kiev, Graham immigrated to the United States in 1920 and made a name for himself. Learn more about Graham's life and his connection to Gross during the program, which takes place on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 6 pm EST. The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required.
Alicia Longwell, Ph.D., is the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education, at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY. She curated the exhibition "John Graham: Maverick Modernist" in 2017, which included two loans from the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation collection.
Join us at the Foundation for a brief virtual tour celebrating Open House New York Weekend. Releasing October 17, 2020, enjoy a visit to the home, studio, and art collections of Renee and Chaim Gross by watching on Vimeo or the Foundation's films page.
To see all 150+ sites hosting online events, please visit Open House New York Weekend's main page.
Debuting in connection with Open House New York Weekend 2020, the Foundation welcomes Kurt Hirschberg, Project Manaager and Architectural Designer at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, for a recorded discussion with Executive Director Sasha Davis on the 2017-18 restoration of the historic studio skylight at 526 LaGuardia Place. This video is available on Vimeo or the Foundation's films page.
Please join us online Thursday, August 27 from 6-7 pm EDT as Dr. Randall Griffey, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discusses the upcoming exhibition Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle. Opening to the public on August 29 at the Met, this exhibition reunites 26 of the 30 panels Lawrence created for his series "Struggle: From the History of the American People" (1954-56). The works have not been shown together since their creation.
Panel 7: Siege, depicting defeated soldiers after battle during the Revolutionary War, is part of the historic collection at the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation. Gross and Lawrence were both inducted as members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984.
Organized by the Peabody Essex Museum, the exhibition will travel to multiple cities across the country through 2021. We look forward to you joining us for this conversation followed by Q&A.
Free; RSVP required. To register, please follow the Eventbrite link here.
Join us on Wednesday, January 22 at 6 pm as we welcome Rebecca Shaykin, Associate Curator at the Jewish Museum, for a discussion surrounding the exhibition she organized and curated, "Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art," on view at The Jewish Museum through February 9, 2020.
The exhibition is the first to look at Edith Halpert, a pioneering female gallerist who championed living American artists in her Downtown Gallery. The exhibition reunites artworks that passed through Halpert's gallery as well as those that were in her personal collection. Although Chaim Gross was not represented by Halpert, they both collected many of the same artists, including Stuart Davis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, and O. Louis Guglielmi, among others.
Space is limited. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased through Eventbrite.
Photo: Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery in a photograph for Life magazine in 1952. She is joined by some of the new American artists she was promoting that year: Charles Oscar, Robert Knipschild, Jonah Kinigstein, Wallace Reiss, Carroll Cloar, and Herbert Katzman. Photograph © Estate of Louis Faurer
Free, RSVP Required
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation is excited to announce the continuation of “Tactile Transmissions,” a 90-minute Access Program geared toward visitors who are blind or partially sighted. “Tactile Transmissions” encourages participants to touch and create while surrounded by Gross’s sculptures and drawings. The program focuses on the historic workspace, materials, and current tactile exhibition, Teaching Through Touch: Works by Chaim Gross, utilizing verbal description, touch, and making. Visitors will work with our talented educators Nitza Danieli, Pamela Lawton, Annie Leist, and Deborah Lutz.
Each session will have a different theme:
September 10 - "Materials Speak"
October 1 - "Reading Faces"
November 12 - "African Arts and Influences"
December 10 - "Finding Lines"
Due to limited space, please RSVP to Brittany Cassandra by phone 212-529-4906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to bring a guest, please let us know.
The Foundation is located at 526 LaGuardia Place, between Bleecker Street and West Third Street. After passing through a wrought iron gate, please enter through the door at your left. There is a buzzer to the left of the door if needed. The first, second, and third floors are accessible by elevator.
Join us for an evening of poetry on November 18, from 6:30 - 9 pm, featuring poets Maryam Parhizkar, Emily Skillings, and CL Young. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Eventbrite here. Space is limited.
Maryam Ivette Parhizkar is a writer, scholar and author of two chapbooks: Pull: a ballad (The Operating System, 2014) and As For the Future (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2016). Her recent writing can be found in The Felt, Omniverse, Social Text Online, Amerarcana/Shuffle Boil, Bone Bouquet, The Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day, among other places. Born and raised in southwest Houston by Salvadoran and Iranian immigrant parents, she currently lives in northern New Jersey, and is working on a series of poems on migration and the social and ecological landscape of the Hackensack Meadowlands. She is a 2019 CantoMundo Fellow.
Emily Skillings is the author of the poetry collection Fort Not (The Song Cave, 2017), which Publishers Weekly called a "fabulously eccentric, hypnotic, and hypervigilant debut," as well as two chapbooks, Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press). Recent poems can be found/are forthcoming in Poetry, Harper's, Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Hyperallergic, LitHub, and jubilat. Skillings is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective, small press, and event series. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow in 2017. She splits her time between Brooklyn and Hudson, NY.
CL Young writes poems and essays. She is the author of a chapbook called What Is Revealed When I Reveal It to You (dancing girl press, 2018), and co-author with Emily Skillings of Rose of No Man's Land, a chaplet from Belladonna*. Her poems have appeared in Lana Turner, the PEN Poetry Series, Pinwheel, Sixth Finch, The Volta, and elsewhere, and essays can be found at Entropy and The Scofield. She holds an MFA from Colorado State University and currently lives in Boise, Idaho, where she runs a reading & workshop series called Sema.
The Foundation is opening its doors from 10am - 6pm on Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20 for Open House New York Weekend. Stop by to visit the home, studio, and art collections of Renee and Chaim Gross. All floors of the building are wheelchair accessible except for the studio space, which is visible from the gallery.
Seating is limited, RSVP Required
Please join us for a screening of “Marcia Marcus: Art in the Family,” a documentary film in progress about painter Marcia Marcus (b. 1928), whose two-person exhibition Double Portrait with Mimi Gross is on view at the Shirley Fiterman Center at BMCC through July 27.
The film features paintings by Marcus, photographs from her extensive archive, interviews with artists and scholars, and an oral history with Marcus from 1975, which was conducted by Paul Cummings for the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.
The 70-minute film is produced, directed, and edited by Kate Prendergast. The film includes appearances from Marcia Marcus, Mimi Gross, Marti Edelheit, Red Grooms, Sheila Schwid, Bill Barrell and Terence Barrell, Jennifer Samet, Melissa Rachleff Burtt, Andrew Hottle, with narration by Nello McDaniel.
Following the film, we will have a discussion with Kate Prendergast and scholar Melissa Rachleff Burtt.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through Eventbrite here.
Please join us for "Conversations with Conservators: A Benefit to Support Conservation at the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation." The benefit will include a cocktail reception, discussions with conservators, and a chance to spend time at the historic home, studio, and art collections of the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation.
All proceeds from ticket sales and donations from this event will go directly towards the conservation of one or more works in the Foundation's collection.
Tickets: $50, available here or at the door; please note that space is limited
Meet our speakers:
Lauren Fly, Fly Arts Initiative
Lauren Fly is the founder of the Fly Arts Initiative, a fine art conservation and collections management practice based in New York, NY. With more than 15 years of international experience in paintings conservation and collections care, Lauren works with museums, private collectors, galleries, and other stewards of cultural heritage to preserve and protect their objects. She is passionate about promoting and demystifying conservation to the wider public, and loves talking about little things that can make a big difference.
Donna Page provides conservation and restoration services to collectors, galleries and museums throughout the US, specializing in African wood and terracotta artifacts. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; taught at Illinois Wesleyan, Drew University, Queensborough College-CUNY; and worked with the L. Kahan Gallery of African Art (1980-98). She is co-author and co-editor of several books on African art, including Surfaces: Color, Substances and Ritual Applications in African Art (Indiana University Press, 2009).
Christopher Skura, Alvarez Conservation Services
Christopher Skura joined Alvarez in 2007 following a 20 year career as a museum professional and then as a studio assistant to master paintings conservator, Dr. Charles Von Nostitz in New York City. From 1997 - 2010 he owned and operated a gilded surface and period frame restoration studio. Christopher has also been a studio assistant to many artists, including John Chamberlain and Hunt Slonem, and has completed James Bernstein's Mastering Inpainting Workshop at the Ringling Museum of Art. Christopher is a practicing artist and holds degrees in studio art from The Ringling College of Art and Design and liberal arts from New York University.