Nancy Grossman, born in New York City, grew up on a working farm in Oneonta, New York. Life on a rural farm with parents in the garment manufacturing business shaped Grossman’s artistic vision and influenced her choice of materials. Collage assemblages of the 1960s and 1970s contain within their surfaces machinery parts, metal signs, wooden scraps and torn leather apparel; collages of the 1980s and 1990s are threaded with personal paper memorabilia and remnants from the Chinatown neighborhood, where her studio was located for thirty-five years. A student of Richard Lindner at Pratt Institute (1957-1962), Grossman received her BA in 1962. That same year, she traveled on an Ida C. Haskell Award for Foreign Travel to Europe, where she made her first collages. In 1964, the Krasner Gallery in New York mounted Grossman’s first solo exhibition, and in 1968, her leather-covered sculpture heads for which she is most noted first appeared at Cordier and Ekstrom Gallery, New York. Remarkably, in 1970 Grossman had five solo exhibitions; yet it was not until 1991, when the Hillwood Art Museum organized her first traveling retrospective exhibition, that the scope of her oeuvre was revealed.
Grossman is represented in numerous museum collections including The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Frances Young Tang Museum at Skidmore College and MoMA PS1. In 1991 her work was featured in Los Angeles in Connie Butler’s Seminal MoCA show Afterimage. Grossman lives and continues to work in Brooklyn, New York.