Red Grooms

1937 -

American (Nashville, Tennessee -)

Red Grooms is an American multimedia artist best known for his colorful pop-art constructions depicting frenetic scenes of modern urban life. He brings an unusual ability to see beyond the surface of his artwork. Best known for his life sized environmental installations of stores, subways, and city scenes, he inhabits these constructions with offbeat, spirited, easily identifiable characters who strike a humorous chord for viewers. Grooms’ work is exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, and Japan. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Grooms made a number of “Happenings.” The best known was “The Burning Building,” staged at his studio (dubbed “The Delancey Street Museum” for the occasion) at 148 Delancey Street in New York’s Lower East Side between December 4 and 11, 1959. Shortly thereafter, Grooms invented “sculpto-pictoramas,” large-scale environmental works for which he is best known. These vibrant three-dimensional constructions melded painting and sculpture, to create immersive works of art that invited interaction from the viewer. Grooms’s two most notable installations—The City of Chicago (1967) and Ruckus Manhattan (1975)—were enormously popular with the public. Besides painting and sculpture, Grooms is also known for his prolific printmaking. His work reveal the practiced hand of a master draftsman who has experimented with an array of printmaking techniques ranging from creating woodblock prints, spray-painted stencils, soft-ground etchings, and elaborate three-dimensional lithograph constructions.


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