Mimi Gross

David Brown Gallery

Long known for her collaborative installations with ex-husband Red Grooms and as the daughter of sculptor Chaim Gross, Mimi Gross has come into her own in an exhibition of six constructed reliefs and one large drawing. The large painted-wood triptych, Parnassus, after Raphael, 1986, is a playful parody of Raphael’s famous Vatican fresco and contains 26 individuated figures divided into three separately constructed groups. With her witty and theatrical touch, Gross replaces Raphael’s soft elegance, atmospheric perspective, and academicism with her own educated roughness of proportion, scale, style, and medium. She transforms tightly-painted acanthus laurels into pointed diadems that suggest the Statue of Liberty’s spiky crown, and loosens the painting style to let the wood-grain base show through. Her characters are hinged together with screws; they resemble puppets used in animation.

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