Red Grooms Paints the Civil War

Exhibition Website

Oct 8 2016 - May 14 2017

The Civil War, America’s story, is told by Red Grooms, American artist, who for 50 years has brought life from city and country to sculpture and canvas, with truth that he inflects with compassion and humor. Long linked to the Hudson River Museum by The Bookstore, a “walk-through” sculpto-pictorama that has amazed and amused Museum visitors for over 30 years, Grooms turns, now, to the story of the war America waged within its own borders. Red Grooms Paints the Civil War shows us this war vividly in color and action.

Grooms’ paintings and installations are famous for a parade of dazzling personalities busily engaged in the moment. We recognize their faces, body language, and motivations. The war waged by the Northern and Southern states presents Grooms a new canvas of arresting people and their ambitions. ... Grooms records the panorama in portraits and the landscapes of battle scenes on the face of sliced logs and on wood in oil and graphite, settings for his paintings as rustic as the countryside where many of the war‘s battles raged. The faces of African-American Abolitionist Frederick Douglass and of John C. Calhoun, defender of slavery, both appear. Union Major General Custer is painted with attitude and there are three silver-haired Robert E. Lees. Above the squabbling generals, the near-missed victories, and the sad defeats of the four-year struggle, stands President Abraham Lincoln, whom Grooms paints in two portraits, Magenta Lincoln and Lincoln in Beersheba. In the line of Lincoln’s lips and the square of his shoulders that Grooms draws, he gives us the leader, the only possible one, who could carry the country through this scarring time. ...

Echoing and illuminating Grooms’ art in this exhibition are paintings, photographs, maps, and medals, from the Hudson River Museum’s trove of historical images from the Civil War.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Painting
  • American
  • Contemporary
  • History
  • Red Grooms

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