BiggerCode Gallery is proud to announce its first solo exhibition of the intricate and mesmerizing works of Howard Gross. Putting All The Pieces Together will showcase an oeuvre of Gross’s masterfully crafted and deeply personal drawings, paintings and sculptures created between 1980s to the present. Some of the pieces in the exhibition are exclusively being shown for the first time in more than 30 years. The viewer is invited to take a stimulating, surreal, and symphonic journey through the incredibly complex and beautifully intricate works of oil paintings, scratchboard drawings, pen and ink watercolors and clay sculptures.
After a series of traumatic events which included the death of his mother, and the sudden loss of his studio, Mr. Gross decided to move to New Orleans in 1984 to rebuild himself. During this vulnerable and shattered state, Mr. Gross turned to painting again after a photography and sculpture hiatus. The intensity of his experience is captured within the frames and titles of his earlier pieces like Landmine Soliloquy (1985-7), and You’re Tearing Me Apart (1985-7). Fragmentary forms reminiscent of disemboweled bodies hover suspended in a space of sky blue and blood orange respectively. Mr. Gross recalls vivid memories of watching his veterinarian uncle dissect and operate on animals as a young boy. He feels that those memories have had a significant influence on his early paintings. Mr. Gross’s work however transcends a mere abstraction of his memories and becomes a record of discovery and invention. Works like Emerging From Oblivion (1985-7) present a deeply elaborate language of invented forms that inhabit a space of organically layered compositions.
Similar forms populate the sculptures and the scratchboard drawings. On the one hand, the scratchboards reflect Mr. Gross’s uniquely personal visual language, while on the other hand they are also incredibly stimulating spaces for free association. The images look cellular and microscopic in detail / pattern, as though one was looking through the eyes of an electron microscope. However, it is important to note that Mr. Gross’s work has no clear reference to scale. The forms oscillate between the microscopic and the macroscopic effortlessly. The painstakingly detailed images that flow out of Mr. Gross are both mysterious and awe inspiring in nature. They are highly organic and carry a tone of naturalistic rhythm. Underlying each piece is a layer of personal poetics; some of which is made conscious through their titles such as Helena and Her Friends (2005), which is an ode to a friend who passed away at a young age, while others are further abstracted through titles like Garden Of A Thousand Secrets (2015) .