Gronk Biography

Gronk

American

1954-

Biography

Gronk (Glugio Nicandro) is a Los Angeles based painter, muralist, performance artist, set designer, and printmaker who was born in East Los Angeles in 1954. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at California State University Los Angeles.

According to Latinart.com, Gronk helped form the Los Angeles artist group titled ASCO in 1971, consisting Willie Herrón, Patssi Valdez, and Harry Gamboa Jr. The word ASCO in English means nausea and was a multi-media arts collective influenced by European film, existentialism, and literature as much as the political context of living Latino in Los Angeles during that politically turbulent period. This group focused on promoting performances that dealt with social commentary and irony. The group participated in street performances such as Day of the Dead celebrations, anti-war protests, and movement/instant murals. The "instant murals" or spontaneous acts consisted of staged events against a wall.

His work ranges from the performance work of ASCO to mural paintings, including those at Estrada Courts in East Los Angeles. He has also collaborated with composer Joseph Julian Gonzalez on "Tormenta Cantata," a visual/musical piece performed in 1995 with Kronos Quartet at University of California, Los Angeles and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In 1995 he was commissioned to design sets for the Los Angeles and the Santa Fe Operas. Gronk was artist in residence at the University of New Mexico in 2003, artist in residence at Fullerton College in 2011, and artist in residence at the University of California Merced in 2014.  

Gronk painted the mural Tormenta Cantata, Echoes from the Past, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1996. In 2016, the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles mounted an exhibition of his theatrical work ranging from backdrops, masks, illustrations, and a stage set built for the exhibition. His work is in the collections of the University of California Los Angeles Library, Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Mexican Museum of San Francisco, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center of Albuquerque.

With regards to himself and his art he stated: I'm an observer of my time, and I share my observations. That for me is the greatest job of an artist, the ability to share.