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Chaim Gross, the son of an Austrian woodcutter, was an early proponent of direct carving, in which sculptors carved directly into wood or stone rather than working from preliminary models. He also single-handedly revived the art of wood carving at a time when his peers were working in stone. Ballerina reflects Gross’s interest in the carving traditions of African art, as well as his love and understanding of the often exotic woods that were his materials of choice.
52 x 12 x 11 3/4 in. (132.1 x 30.5 x 29.8 cm) (show scale)
Inscribed on front of base: "CHAIM GROSS / [symbol of two curved lines connected by horizontal bar] / 1940"
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Program, U.S. General Services Administration and the Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
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Chaim Gross (American, born Austria, 1904-1991). Ballerina, 1940. Imbuya wood, 52 x 12 x 11 3/4 in. (132.1 x 30.5 x 29.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Courtesy of the Fine Arts Program, U.S. General Services Administration and the Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 40.874 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 40.874.jpg)
overall, 40.874.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2004
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Carved figure of ballerina with hands on hips standing on square base; blocky, stylized forms; skin is sanded smooth and dress, shoes, and base roughly worked.
Condition: Good, small crack in edge of skirt above proper right leg.
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