Red Grooms: Ninth Street Women meet The Irascibles; Robert Longo Wedded

Recent works of Red Grooms are on exhibit at the Marlborough Gallery in New York. The series was inspired by the 2018 book Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel. The book focuses on the life and careers of five female artists who transformed the art world in mid-twentieth century America.

 

The exhibit includes portraits of those artists: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler. It also includes portraits of The Irascibles, the name given to the eighteen abstract artists who challenged the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s refusal to include the works of contemporary artists in its exhibitions and competition of American Painting in 1950.

 

The Irascibles included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hoffman and other fine artists who paved the way for Red Grooms, who moved to New York in 1956, to create and show his colorful, quirky and creative paintings, prints, sculptures and Happenings. Grooms will celebrate his 86th birthday this year. He has lived and worked in the same TriBeCa studio since 1969. 

 

“My whole life, bad or good, has occurred here, in this place. Looking back, I realize I didn’t know a darn thing,” he said in a 2018 New York Times inverview. “I still don’t, basically.” Red Grooms: Ninth Street Women meet The Irascibles (The Monotypes) will be on exhibit from March 16  through May 6, 2023.

 


 

The works of Robert Longo are part of a Sotheby’s auction to support the Nina Simone Childhood Home preservation project by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Tennis star Venus Williams is one of the curators of the auction to save the home in Tryon, North Carolina from being demolished. 

 

Nina Simone, known as the “High Priestess of Soul” grew up in the house, which was designated a national treasure in 2018. The plan is to renovate the home and possibly use it as for artist-in-residence program for emerging Black artists. 

 

All the artworks in the auction will be available to view on line and in person at Pace’s West 25th Street gallery in New York throughout the course of the sale, from May 12 through May 20, 2023.

 

On a more personal note, Longo married filmmaker Sophie Chahinia in November. Actor Keanu Reeves, who starred in Robert Longo’s 1995 film, Johnny Mnemonic, was one of the wedding guests. (Longo directed the film and made a black-and-white version of the cyberpunk film in 2022).

 


 

References:

M.H. Miller. Art Is Fleeting, but Red Grooms Is Forever. The New York Times. September 6, 2018.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, Adam Pendleton and Venus Williams Co-Host Gala and Online Auction to Benefit Nina Simone’s Childhood Home. March 13, 2023.

Taylor Michael. Artists Team Up With Venus Williams to Save Nina Simone’s Home. Hyperallergic March 13, 2023.

Lauren Tappan. Sophie Chahinian & Robert Longo’s Hollywood Wedding. Town&Country. November 12, 2022.

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