|Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Presents Red Groom’s Ruckus Rodeo January 17-March 15, 2020
To celebrate the 2020 Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show and its new home in Dickies Arena, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will present Ruckus Rodeo, 1976, by Red Grooms, from January 17 through March 15, 2020. Texas-sized, larger-than-life, three-dimensional representations of rodeo archetypes, including the rodeo queen and her steed, a bucking bronc, clowns, and a giant golden bull named Butter, will take over more than 2,100 square feet of gallery space. Although it was last on view in 2005, Ruckus remains one of the most beloved and requested works in the Modern’s collection.
Ruckus Rodeo was the fourth and last of Grooms’s “sculpto-pictorama” projects and is the only one still extant. These artworks – part painting, part sculpture, and part installation – deploy cartoon-like color and line in large-scale, tumultuous depictions of places and events. Coming on the heels of art movements that prioritized ideas over canvases, that coolly appraised commercialism, and that questioned the role of the art museum itself, the “sculpto-pictorama” form seemed to flaunt everything that mattered to the art world in the mid-twentieth century. Nevertheless, the origins of the “sculpto-pictorama” lie in the active brushwork of Abstract Expressionism, the semi-scripted performances known as Happenings, and the theatrical qualities of film-based art.
The Modern (then known as the Fort Worth Art Museum) commissioned Ruckus Rodeo in 1974 for The Great American Rodeo, an exhibition that dedicated the entire museum to the theme of rodeo. Grooms, who was born in Nashville and moved to New York in the 1950s, where he still lives and works, attended Fort Worth’s 1975 stock show and rodeo. He captured the experience in a sketch called Rodeo Arena, also in the Modern’s collection, that spans more than seven feet. With the help of a crew of artists and artisans dubbed the Ruckus Construction Company, Rodeo Arena gave rise to Ruckus Rodeo.
The grand spectacle compresses time, space, and events to capture the frenzy and tension of rodeo. Part of the national art dialogue of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, Ruckus Rodeo honors Fort Worth’s western heritage as well as the city’s contributions to contemporary art.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Museum Gallery Hours
Tue 10 am-7 pm (Jan-Apr, Jun-Jul, Sep-Dec)
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Fri 10 am-8 pm
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