Born in Nashville Tennesee in 1937 Red Grooms is a; "Sculptor, painter, installation artist, filmmaker, and printmaker. An eager participant in late 1950s happenings, in the 1960s he developed high-spirited, mixed-media environmental sculpture on an enormous scale. In these “sculpto-pictoramas,” as he has called them, multiple, life-size, cartoonish figures inhabit sharply observed localities, usually areas of New York. Related to pop art, his zany work often carries a sarcastic edge but not at the expense of good-natured hilarity. It also plays on nostalgia that stems from the artist's evident affection for his acutely rendered subjects, as befits an admirer of Edward Hopper's paintings. Born in Nashville, Charles Roger Grooms left Peabody College there to enroll in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a year. He then decamped for New York to continue his studies at the New School for Social Research (now New School). He also attended Hans Hofmann's summer school in Provincetown. In the late 1950s, along with Allan Kaprow, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, and others, he pioneered the creation of happenings. " ("Red Grooms." Oxford Reference. 2011-01-01. <www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095909665>.).
Meet the Family!
In the late 1970’s, a local collector commissioned a family portrait by Red Grooms. It contains five separate but related sculptures and was executed in 1979. The five sculptures consist of the wife in a banyan tree; a son on a skate board wearing a University of Miami shirt, “listening to the Village People”; another, younger son, sliding into an imaginary swimming pool; the wife’s grandparents in formal dress on top of a Cuban wedding cake, representing sixty three years of marriage; and a portrait of the collector at a younger age, bare-chested and dressed in a sarong, having just returned from a trip to Bali. The sculptures are composed of a variety of material including vinyl, wood, papier-mâché, and painted canvas. The work epitomizes a young and active family living the Florida lifestyle of the time.
(Located on the west side of the 2nd Floor of the Alvin Sherman Library )