Grossman studied commercial art in high school and worked as a textile designer, making enough money to move to Europe and pursue art during the 1950s and 1960s. After struggling to make ends meet overseas, she moved back to New York City and settled into Manhattan's historic Hotel Chelsea, a haven for artists, musicians, and cultural icons. She lived in room 503, which doubled as her living quarters and art studio. Her apartment became overloaded with years of accumulated art and materials, so she resorted to sleeping in a lawn chair in the hallway.
Despite her decades long career, Grossman finally began to experience notoriety for her work during her later years. She was the subject of a 2012 documentary film, Girl With Black Balloons, directed by Corinne van der Borch.
Grossman died from respiratory failure on 2 November 2021 at the age of 94 at a care centre in Brookyln.
Grossman’s oeuvre consists of drawings, sculpture, and photographs. An example includes the photographic series Phenomenology Project (1979–80), featuring distorted views of New York City seen from window reflections. Yto Barrada, a Moroccan-French artist who exhibited with Grossman, is working on a catalogue raisonné of her work.
In 2019, Barrada and Grossman collaborated on a project that explored concepts of ecological devastation. The exhibition, titled The Power of Two Suns, was on view at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center at Governors Island. Prior to her passing, Grossman was one of 47 contemporary artists featured in the 2021 iteration of Greater New York, MoMA PS.1’s annual survey of New York-based artists. At the age of 94, she was the oldest artist in the exhibition.
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