This past week, The Marlborough Contemporary has welcomed a Red Grooms collection, curated by Dan Nadel, pulling in works from 1955 to 2018.
The pieces selected, while beautifully illustrating Red’s pedigree, also accurately capture the artist struggle to adhere to a singular medium. Pieces like “Irv Ives in His Garden” show total comfort in the realm of two-dimensional painted works, while “Buster Keaton and Friends” shows an exhaustion of what the canvas can muster and an extension into the world of sculpture. However, works similar to the latter from Red’s catalog are never a free-dive into the realm of sculpture. There’s still a tenuous hold to a realm dictated by brushstrokes. These sculpted works, still benefit from the canvas’ plane. “Buster Keaton and his Friends” for example is displayed like a painting and draws its impact from the piece’s containment within a rectangular canvas. Even “Ruckus Manhattan, 42nd St-Porno Bookstore,” although part suspended and freestanding sculpture benefits from the usage of canvas sheets as walls which references painting.
Red’s content, drawing from everyday New York scenes, bridges a generational gap. The show’s opening had viewers young and old enamored with Red’s work. There’s something to be said about Red’s ability to draw content and style from different eras, it simultaneously attracts people from opposing eras to connect over his work. It’s a well-done show and worth a long visit.
To learn more, visit http://www.marlboroughcontemporary.com/exhibitions/red-grooms-handiwork