Distribution Automatique

Sunday, July 3

The Artist in Her Studio: A Visit to Mimi Gross

The brilliant artist Mimi Gross {click here} is the daughter of the famed
sculptor, the late Chaim Gross, some
of whose work and art collection is housed at
the Renee and Chaim Gross studio museum
on LaGuardia Place. The museum includes numerous
pieces by Chaim Gross, of course. In particular, I coveted
a piece illustrating a tall, thin juggler, but there are also
many models of large outdoor sculptures in collections.
The museum also houses a
large collection of African art and many incredible
art works by famed figures. Since Mimi's mother, who sadly
died very recently, lived at the Museum, it may not
be kept going much longer, and is already not open to
the public as it was for years, although there was still
a staff working there who greeted us, as Mimi chatted
with Jacob Burkhardt, the photographer and son of the
filmaker and artist Rudy Burkhardt. Mimi then brought us to
her studio a few blocks away. Her art work includes
innumerable incredibly beautiful and thought-
provoking works including some gorgeous assemblages
(one of my favorite media) and notably a piece from the late
80's, early 90's that depicts the brain
by means of a huge colorful
construction of gauzy yellow and red pieces of cloth
hung on a wire scaffolding in lovely undulations.
Mimi is very interested
in anatomy and has made many paintings and a considerable
amount of book art around this topic. We also got to
see her powerful book about 9/11 made with Charles
Bernstein and published by Granary Books. Mimi's
studio is a wonderland of objects including a vast
collection of paintings and antique toys; there is a lovely portrait of her as a young child and
one of her as a teenager made by Raphael Soyer!
We can't wait to return; we left showered with gifts
including a small book of aphorisms by the physicist
inventor Billy Kluver, illustrated by Mimi as well as a
CD-Rom of *The Baby Book*, illlustrated by Mimi.
We then walked over to the Odeon for drinks and
dinner and hours of memorable conversation.

Most recent sighting: working
on a poster at Coney Island on Mermaid
Parade day- as part of a
project of artists restoring the rich history
of that endlessly fascinating and pleasurable
Brooklyn destination.
Also spotted watching the
parade: Emma Bernstein, Nada
Gordon and Toni Simon.