© Estate of the artist
Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Elie Posner

Michael Gross

Israeli, 1920–2004

White and Ochre,


Diptych; oil on canvas, 203 x 275 cm each
Gift of the artist
B86.0001 (a-b)

“When I was studying architecture,” Michael Gross once said, “I would draw without shadows. I did not succumb to external means of definition. I would draw a thick line and a thin line, to give a sense of near and far, rather than a physical depiction of the shadow. I was impatient regarding the means. From the first moment I had no patience, I wanted to capture the thing itself, I wanted to say it right away, as it is.”

White and Ochre consists of two canvases which, together, represent the wholeness of nature. On the right canvas, the horizon is depicted as an ocher line painted with great precision between white surfaces, themselves painted over a darker shade. On the left canvas, the horizon line continues, meeting at two-thirds of the way with a lighter ocher-toned surface. The brushstrokes along the line and especially at the meeting point are clearly visible. The hot sun seems to brighten the desolate land or water, and Gross’s loneliness in the abstract, serene, contained landscape is almost palpable. In this large-scale painting, the artist manages to express feelings and emotions he experienced in the landscape of his childhood and to capture fleeting moments in nature.

Ido Targano

Artists in Action

Michael Gross

Isart: The Israeli Artists Golden Year Book, Tel Aviv: Stier Publications, 1977. https://museum.imj.org.il/artcenter/newsite/en/?artist=Gross,%20Michael

Michael Gross was an Israeli painter, sculptor and conceptual artist.