What To Do

Circa 1945: Abstract art in the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation Collection


Jun 5, 2014
06:00 PM


Join us for an opening reception 6/5 from 6-8 pm. Refreshments served.

Featuring over 40 rarely-exhibited works by 19 artists from Chaim Gross's private collection:

Byron Browne, Peter Busa, Sylvia Carewe, Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Max Ernst, Arshile Gorky, John D. Graham, Chaim Gross, Marsden Hartley, Jacob Lawrence, Fernand Leger, Andre Masson, Roberto Matta, I. Rice Pereria, Pablo Picasso, Theodoros Stamos, Nahum Tschacbasov, & Ruth Vodicka.


About the exhibit:

The year 1945 has long served as a dividing line in the history of American art between pre-war and post-war art, and between the figurative painting of the Depression era and the emergence of the Abstract Expressionists in the 1940s. The 40 works in this exhibition reconsider definitions of abstraction around 1945, and embody the often-blurred lines between established categories such as figuration/abstraction, color/line, or form/content of the period. The flowing, organic still lifes of Fernand Leger; the sumptuous, Picasso-esque figurative abstraction of Byron Browne; the knife-sharp, planar bodies of the history paintings of Nahum Tschacbasov and Jacob Lawrence; and the dream-like “Indian Space Painting” of Peter Busa, influenced by the surface patterns of art from Oceania and the Pacific Northwest: these works reveal varying modes of abstract painting in America during a historical period of tremendous violence, upheaval, and change. 


Circa 1945 also considers the place of abstract painting in the private collection of Chaim Gross, a figurative sculptor who rose to fame in the United States in the 1930s and 40s. Given Gross’s humanist commitment to the figure in his own work, it may come as a surprise that he owned the abstract paintings in this exhibit, and had them on the walls of his home and studio. Yet Gross knew well most of these artists and many worked near him in Greenwich Village. John D. Graham had a studio next door and like Gross had a passionate interest in African art, while Willem de Kooning had a studio across the street. Gross worked for parts of the year up in Provincetown, as did Busa and Sylvia Carewe. The variation in these artists’ work demonstrates how the boundaries of art history are constructed, and why they should continually come under scrutiny and redefinition.




View map The Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation
526 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY

Additional Information


The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation



Contact name

Susan Fisher

Contact email



Ardsley,Armonk,Bedford,Briarcliff Manor,Bronx,Bronxville,Chappaqua,Croton-On-Hudson,Dobbs Ferry,Elmsford,Fairfield,Greenwich,Harrison,Hartsdale,Hastings-On-Hudson,Hawthorne,Irvington,Katonah,Larchmont,Mamaroneck,Mount Kisco,Mount Vernon,New Rochelle,Norwalk,Ossining,Peekskill,Pelham,Pleasantville,Port Chester,Pound Ridge,Purchase,Ridgefield,Rye,Rye Brook,Scarsdale,Sleepy Hollow,Stamford,Tarrytown,Tuckahoe,Valhalla,Westport,White Plains,Yonkers,Yorktown,Yorktown Heights

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

County Business Listings

Edit Module
Edit Module