You see, at first, I was intrigued by the myth of the city. Like I told you, that was the first thing. But after that and after I was actually in New York it just became the place. You know, I never even thought about it, I still don’t, I don’t think about it much. It’s just that this is the place where I am. I mean, I’m not that much involved in the personality of this place as something outside of me. Although now almost as a joke I can see it better. As a foreigner, it takes years, a lifetime even to understand New York, it seems.
— Red Grooms, interview with Paul Cummings, 1974 (via Archives of American Art)
The Directors of Marlborough New York are pleased to celebrate the work of Red Grooms with a survey of his multidimensional visions realized between 1974 and now. The exhibition will open on Friday, March 12, 2021 and will remain on view through Saturday, May 8, 2021. Composed of over 30 paintings and “sculpto-picto-ramas,” the exhibition will explore the artist’s unique methods of execution and reverberating sensibilities. The accompanying publication documenting the installation will feature a text by Thomas Micchelli, noted contributor to The Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic.
For over six decades, Red Grooms has embraced all things New York and served as a major chronicler of its famously frenetic lifestyle. Always vibrant, inventive, and witty, Red has reinforced the pride that New Yorkers have for their city. As somewhat of an outsider—originally from Nashville, with early sojourns to Provincetown and Chicago—Grooms has been able to clearly witness what makes the city so unique.
Red Grooms was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1937 and has lived and worked in New York since 1957. Grooms emerged in the early sixties as a practitioner of performance art, indie film, and happenings at the dawn of Pop Art. He quickly became noted for his immersive installations such as The City of Chicago (1968), The Discount Store (1971), Ruckus Rodeo (1975) and Ruckus Manhattan (1976). The present exhibition will follow his evolution since those early installations with a number of key works.
Notable exhibitions include Red Grooms: A Retrospective, organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1985), the Whitney Museum of American Art (1987), Red Grooms at Grand Central (1993), and a traveling exhibition of his graphic work organized by the National Academy of Design (2001-04), which traveled for 3 years and 8 venues, the Yale University Art Gallery (2013) and most recently, Red Grooms: Traveling Correspondent (2016) at the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis.
The artist’s works have graced numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm and many others.