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Looking Back At Borofsky And Grooms


The Museum of Contemporary Art will host two retrospective exhibitions surveying the works of Jonathan Borofsky and Red Grooms beginning March 17.

"Red Grooms, A Retrospective, 1956 to 1984" is a national touring show, expanded at MOCA with new works assembled specifically for this occasion. Organized by Judith E. Stein of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, it remains on view through June 29.

Grooms, a painter and sculptor of international reputation, makes elaborate life-size environments in cartoon style. The artist's affectionately satiric visions of the art world and of big city life take the form of films, happenings, tableaux and individual sculptures.

This retrospective covers 25 years of Grooms' oeuvre , starting with his arrival in Manhattan from his home in Nashville, Tenn. It proceeds through early "happenings," Expressionist paintings and drawings to the 1973 breakthrough to painted paper sculpture that culminated in his environmental tableaux.

Included in the show are portions of two well-known sculpto-pictoramas, "The Discount Store, 1970" and "Ruckus Manhattan, 1976."

"Jonathan Borofsky" is a retrospective multimedia installation encompassing 12 years of the artist's career; it runs through May 18.

The exhibition comes to Los Angeles after a six-city tour; it contains more than 100 works and 350 small drawings, augmented here by five major new works. The new works, larger than anything the artist has previously done, evolved in response to the scale of the Temporary Contemporary space.

Borofsky expresses himself in a variety of media--painting, drawing, sculpture, video and music; his work is operatic, combining sound, sight and movement into installations which become theaters of imagery. "Jonathan Borofsky" was organized by Mark Rosenthal, curator of 20th-Century art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in association with Richard Marshall, associate curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Tickets are on sale for the exhibition "Ebla to Damascus: Art and Archeology of Ancient Syria," opening Saturday at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park (through June 1).

A collaborative effort between European scholars and the National Museum of Syria, the show is being circulated to six American cities after a tour of European capitals.

Nearly 300 items include the finest pieces assembled from museums and excavation sites in the Near East, featuring functional objects and furnishings, pottery, sculpture, mosaics, glass, wall paintings, jewelry, ivory carvings and cuneiform writing tablets. Information: (213) 744-6292.

A citywide art competition is planned by the Pasadena Centennial Committee in celebration of the city's 100th birthday.

Intended to encourage Pasadena artists, the competition offers two $1,986 purchase awards for acquisitions to be given to the city and additional prizes, including a $500 Giesen Trust Young Talent Award for an artist under age 26. An exhibition of works by artists chosen as finalists will also result from the competition. Works in two or three dimensions will be considered, in all media excluding video and performance art. Jurying will be in two stages: An application form accompanied by two 35-millimeter slides and a fee of $5 per slide is due April 1; artists selected through the review of slides will be asked to submit works for a final jurying in May. Application forms are available at the Pasadena Centennial Office, 1990 S. Los Robles Ave., Suite 210, Pasadena, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and at all branches of the Pasadena Public Library.

For more information, call Susan Caldwell during business hours at (818) 284-5581.

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