Anthony Gross Biography

Anthony Gross




Named Imre Anthony Sandor Gross, Anthony Gross was born in Dulwich, London, on March 19, 1905. His mother, Isabelle Crowley, was a playwright and feminist whose work "Break the Walls Down" was performed in London's Savoy Theater in 1913. His younger sister, Phyllis Pearsall, would become an artist and writer. Throughout his childhood his family visited his father's native Budapest and elsewhere, fostering a love of travel that stuck with Gross and inspired his work well into adulthood. He attended, and later taught at, the Slade School of Fine Art in London. He studied at the Académie Julian and École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Gross, together with his long time friend and colleague Stanley William Hayter, studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in 1925-26. During this time both artists learned engraving from Polish printmaker Joseph Hecht. Hayter later went on to found Atelier 17 in Paris.

After studying in Madrid and Paris, Gross settled in France, working on oils, watercolors, and printmaking, becoming acquainted with other artists and movements. During World War II he held a post as Official War Artist in Egypt, Burma, and India, capturing scenes of daily life, and was in the D-Day landings with the 50th division. His prolific career resulted in a body of over 400 etchings, in addition to his paintings, and collaborative cartoon works—one of which, "La Joie de Vivre", was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in 1935.

He became interested in cartoon films, of which he made several, and had started work on Around the World in 80 Days for Alexander Korda when war was declared; the film was never finished. He was appointed an Official War Artist and was in the campaigns in Egypt, India and Burma, where he drew some of the fringe activities of the ranks that captured the camaraderie of service life. After the war he returned to France, continuing some of his film work, and painting in oils as well as pursuing his production of drawings and etchings. In 1970 he published Etching, Engraving and Intaglio Print, a classic work on the techniques of printmaking.

Gross exhibited internationally, and his work in held in public and private collections throughout the world.  Anthony Gross died in Le Boulvé, France on September 8, 1984.