Having developed from a naturalistic style, Michael Gross’s abstract paintings reference realistic imagery, yet are infused with the dynamic action of his studio practice. Gross works quickly and meditatively, and often turns his paintings around and upside down to examine their compositions and colors from different perspectives. “The energy I call up to work in this way is both physical and spiritual,” Gross says, “I am wrestling with divergent forces: intensity vs. detachment, emotion vs. reason, light vs. darkness, and color vs. black.” He creates his explosive, bursting paintings by building up discrete, colorful marks on an otherwise monochromatic field. The density of the calligraphic lines and swatches is often highest at the center, suggesting a roiling and amorphous ball of energy floating and vibrating in space. Gross’s work resembles that of Georges Mathieu and other postwar French abstractionists.