Drawing before she could even write, Mimi Gross is proud to have turned her passion into a long and fruitful career. She is best known for her paintings and interior and exterior installations, although she is also experienced as a set and costume designer, having worked with the dancer Douglas Dunn since 1978. Ms. Gross considers this to be an ongoing highlight; most recently, between 2016 and 2017, she contributed to “Antipodes,” for him and his group. On the other side of the spectrum, her most recent projects include group exhibitions with the Derek Eller Gallery, the Gray Gallery at New York University, the Brattleboro Museum of Art, the Kempner Gallery at the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as a commission for a 170 ft mural for the ER Corridor at the University of Kentucky Medical School. She also participated in solo exhibitions at Shrine in New York and AMP in Massachusetts.
Among the pieces that really cemented Ms. Gross’s place in art history are her multidimensional installations, like “Ruckus Mountain,” and “Discount Store,” and her on-site drawings of the World Trade Center after 9/11, which are included in the Granary Books publication, “Some of These Daze.” She is also recognized for being included in public collections around the world; she is on permanent display at the Robert Venable Park in New York City, and is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Bellevue Hospital, the Onasch Collection in Germany, the Costume and Fashion Collection at Musee des Artes Decoratifs in France, and Fukuoko Hospital and the Nagoya Museum of Art in Japan, among many others. Notably, she has exhibited at the Inax Gallery in Japan, Galerie Lara Vincey in Paris, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York, and joined forces with Charles Bernstein, a poet.
Another medium Ms. Gross has explored is films. In collaboration with her former husband, Red Grooms, she is responsible for the 1975/1976 “The Making of ‘Ruckus Manhattan,’” the 1972/1973 “Hippodrome Hardware,” the 1971 “The Conquest of Libya by Italia,” and the 1970 “The Making of ‘Target Discount Store.’” The pair worked with George Kuchar and students and teachers at the University of California, Berkeley, on “The Berkeley Eruption” in 1969, with Yvonne Andersen Falcone on “Fat Feet” in 1966, and with Rudy Burckhardt on “Shoot the Moon” in 1962.
One of the things Ms. Gross loved most about her field was being able to connect with her peers and the younger generations. She found teaching to be an invaluable outlet for this, which is why she hosted a visiting workshop at Sarah Lawrence College in 2016 and served as the McMillan/Steward Endowed Chair of the Maryland Institute College of Art between 2010 and 2011. Over the years, she has also been affiliated with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, the New York School of Painting & Sculpture, SUNY Purchase, the Penland School of Crafts, and Syracuse University. On her end, she completed her education at Bard College in New York, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and the Kokoschka School of Painting in Austria.
In recognition of her talent, Ms. Gross earned a Visual Arts Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts in 1995, a Bessie Award for Sets and Costumes in 1991, a National Endowment for the Arts from the New York Foundation for the Arts in painting in 1985, and admission into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1981. In 1977, she received another National Endowment for the Arts for the interior and exterior tent entrance décor for the opening of Big Apple Circus in New York City, and in 1976, she was admitted into the Municipal Arts Society for “Ruckus Manhattan.” Her achievements have been featured in the 15th and 16th editions of Who’s Who of American Women.
When Ms. Gross isn’t working, she sits as the president of the board of the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation in memory of her parents.