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His Most Famous Installation (City of Chicago) – Red Grooms

Born as Charles Rogers Grooms, Red Grooms is an American Multimedia artist and a printmaker born on June 07, 1937. He is an eminent ‘Pop Artist.’ ‘Pop Art’ was an art movement, which began in 1950s in the US and reached its height in 1960s. Its central characters were inspired from everyday life. ‘Pop Art’ portrays wild and exciting themes from modern urban life. Red Grooms is also famous for his ‘Sculpto-Pictoramas,’ a term he used for his unique work. The artist would use sculpture wire, vinyl, elastic fabric, wood, & other materials in his works, with usually various human figures. Grooms made his most famous installation, “City of Chicago,” in 1967.

Red made this famous installation along with his wife Mimi Gross, a painter. “City of Chicago” was a three-dimensional installation, describing an ironical view of the city life, which was never witnessed before. The localized landmarks and the residents exhibiting a mixed expression of comedy, celebration, and horror, were portrayed with absolute finesse and perfection. Initially, the figures of this work looked amusing, which on keen observation appeared ironical, expressing the truth of the society. The mark of the “City of Chicago” was the buildings portrayed on large-scale scenes, with flat figures dealing with daily life activities.

His most famous installation “City of Chicago” was a hit and Grooms had an article published on the cover of ‘Look’ magazine. This large, colorful, and a ‘sculpto-pictorama’ was a milestone of its type in the field of ‘Installation Art.’ “City of Chicago” was exhibited first at Frumkin Gallery, California. The installation now graces the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, US.

Grooms’ other famous ‘sculpto-pictorama,’ apart from the “City of Chicago” was ‘Ruckus Manhattan’ (1975), beautifully picturing people strolling around with the entertaining scenes of Lower Manhattan, from Wall Street to Chelsea. Red continued to paint scenes inspired from the New York City. In the late 1980s and 1990s, he dedicatedly painted ‘New York Stories.’ This was a series of paintings and sculptures, displaying the life of the city. His other most famous work is ‘Ruckus Rodeo.’ In all these works, Red proceeds from Manhattan up to Fifth Avenue, while portraying the Statue of Liberty, Saks, the Rockefeller Center skating rink, and St. Paul’s Cathedral as well.

Overall, the “City of Chicago” and “Ruckus Manhattan” were the critically important, high points of Groom’s career. All of Red’s most famous works, including the “City of Chicago” had furious colors and concepts, portrayed through different mediums. His works were inspired by the busy and variously active life at different places in the United States. Red Grooms portrayed these concepts in a humorous and sarcastic taste. The artist continues to inspire the younger generations, raring to explode their talents.

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