Grooms, Red

Grooms, Red,

1937–, American artist, b. Nashville, Tenn. Grooms was one of the earliest practitioners of the happeninghappening,
an artistic event of a theatrical nature, but usually improvised spontaneously without the framework of a plot. The term originated with the creation and performance in 1959 of Allan Kaprow's "18 Happenings in 6 Parts.
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. He also worked in other theatrical forms but is best known for his pop artpop art,
movement that restored realism to avant-garde art; it first emerged in Great Britain at the end of the 1950s as a reaction against the seriousness of abstract expressionism.
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 constructions, made of brightly painted wood, metal, fabric, and other media in a wide variety of sizes and scales. Best known are those that highlight the raucous hurly-burly of New York City, e.g., his famous environment Ruckus Manhattan (1975). Grooms's style is cheerfully satirical and cartoonlike, as in his film Fat Feet (1965), and his exuberant works swarm with boisterous life. He has also made various excursions into the realm of art history, e.g., Studio at Rue des Grands-Augustins (1990–96), a large painting that depicts Picasso working on his masterpiece Guernica in a world-invaded studio.


See study by A. C. Danto, T. Hyman, and M. Livingstone (2004).

Grooms, Red (b. Charles Roger Grooms)

(1937–  ) sculptor, painter, performance artist; born in Nashville, Tenn. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, the New School for Social Research, N.Y., and the Hans Hofmann School, Mass., then settled in New York City (1957). He founded Ruckus Productions (1963), a multi-media environmental and performance company, and is known for both his lifesize installations and impromptu happenings and other theatrical events.