Gronk is well known for his murals and paintings, as well as his stage designs and scenic work. He began creating for the stage as a member of the conceptual artist collective ASCO, and has since worked on opera and theater projects around the world.
The basis of Gronk’s Theater of Paint is an imaginary production inspired by Tomorrow You’ll Be One of Us, a book of surrealist poetry written by Chuck Rosenthal and Gail Wronsky, with illustrations by Gronk. The exhibition culminates with Gronk’s new site-specific installation, in which he merges the grandeur of opera with his love for the low-brow aesthetic of B-movies. Visitors to the Craft and Folk Art Museum are invited to interact with the theater set using Gronk’s handmade props, their participation marking the completion of the installation.
I spoke with Gronk and his frequent collaborator, opera and theater director Peter Sellars, about the exhibition and their 2013 work on the opera The Indian Queen with music by Henry Purcell.
Here is a selection of murals by Gronk on view at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
photos by Susie Goodman