GROSS, Anthony

 Anthony Gross   British 1905-1984

Anthony Gross,etcher, printmaker, born in Dulwich, London of Anglo-Hungarian parentage .His parents separated in 1922. His mother’s new partner in London was American society portrait-painter Alfred Everett Orr, who paid Gross’s fees at the Slade in 1923 and taught him how to set out the colours on the palette from left to right in the manner of Rubens. Gross also studied painting under Pierre Laurens at the Académie Julian and engraving under C A Waltner at the École des Beaux-Arts during the mid 1920’s.As a young man he travelled extensively in Europe. By November 1925, he held his first one-man show at the Abbey Gallery, Victoria Street, London (W R Deighton & Sons) where he showed oil paintings, watercolours and 34 etchings of France, Morocco and England. Gross lived in Paris 1926-27 and from October to March he attended the Académie Julian, whilst also attending life classes at the Grande Chaumière, along with SW Hayter and Balthus. Gross learnt engraving and printing techniques from Joseph Hecht, the Polish-born engraver. In 1930 Gross married fashion-artist Marcelle Marguerite (Daisy) Florenty (1899-1988) and moved into her studio in the Hameau Boileau, Auteuil. She introduced him to her circle of Russian émigré friends, including Ossip Zadkine, Yuri Annenkoff, Natalia Goncharova and Boris Souvarine. Gross was influenced by Annenkoff’s work and by Daisy’s fashion drawings.In 1934 Gross had his first show at the Leicester Galleries. During the Second World War Gross became an official war artist. After the war Gross did a lot of work for book publishers, illustrating many books and became more involved in film making, besides just painting. In 1947 Gross produced the first of three large colour lithographs for J Lyons & Co, ‘Herne Bay Pier’ and from 1948 he began teaching life drawing at the Central School (until 1954). In 1964 he moved from Blackheath to small house and printshop near Greenwich Park, which he equipped with the press formerly belonging to the intaglio printer, C H Welch A Retrospective Exhibition ‘The Graphic Work of Anthony Gross, 1921-1968’ was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1968, with 226 prints on show. Gross was Appointed CBE in 1982.

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