Fishing on the Arno
Alvin Ross (1920-1975) was born in Vineland, NJ. Ross studied art in elementary school and later in high school. He attended the Tyler School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia before moving to New York and traveling in Europe in the 50s and 60s. He attended the Academia de Belle Arts in Florence. It was in Europe that his oeuvre developed. Inspirations such as Hartley and de Chirico developed in his work in the ambiguous figures and spatial compositions of many of his works. Ross was keenly aware of being a realist painter during the high point of Abstract Expressionism. He developed as an artist and explored an interplay of surfaces: crumpled or smooth, opaque or transparent, small or large and soft or hard. The artist stated that his paintings are conceived in a variety of ways: 1. Drawing directly upon nature of a subject seen or experienced. 2. Recording through sketches and watercolors. 3. Memorizing a situation or experience seen. 4. Long stretches of drawing, practically doodling, to search for themes and schemes. 5. By creating abstractions or abstract patterns for the possibility of determining construction of a composition. During his years as an artist, Ross was Chairman of the Art History Department at the Pratt Institute and a lecturer on the History of Art and Architecture at the New School for Social Research and the New York School of Interior Design. He was elected President of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in 1973. In 1974 he found that he had cancer and had to give up his presidency. He continued to work until he died in 1975.