The Rubin Artists on Art: Fred Tomaselli
Artists on Art: Fred Tomaselli
Admission to the museum's galleries is free every Friday from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Tickets for the talk are free, but limited in availability and given away on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 5:45pm. Limit two tickets per person.
In conversation with Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India exhibition curator Beth Citron, contemporary artists engage in informal dialogues about Francesco Clemente’s work and their own on select Friday nights at 6:15 p.m.
About the Artist
Drawing upon art historical sources and Eastern and Western decorative traditions, Fred Tomaselli's works explode in mesmerizing, psychedelic patterns that appear to grow organically across his compositions. In the introduction to a 2003 essay on Tomaselli’s work in Parkett magazine, curator James Rondeau writes: “Over the course of the last ten years, Fred Tomaselli has established an international reputation for his meticulously crafted, richly detailed, deliriously beautiful works of both abstract and figurative art. His signature pieces are compelling, hybrid objects: ersatz, or maybe surrogate paintings, or tapestries, or quilts or mosaics. Their various components—both over-the-counter and controlled pharmaceuticals, street drugs, natural psychotropic substances and other organic matter, collaged elements from printed sources, and hand-painted ornament—are all suspended in gleaming layers of clear, polished, hard resin. Forms implode, explode, oscillate, buzz, loop, swirl, and spiral. Actual objects, photographic representations, and painted surfaces co-exist without hierarchy on and in a single picture plane. The combined effect, neither determinably real nor fully illusionistic, is at once electrifying and destabilizing.”
Starting in 2005, Tomaselli has developed a new body of works on paper that transform the front page of The New York Times with gouache and collage. The surreal compositions are ruminations on the absurdity of news cycles and provide him a space to respond to a variety of issues – from regional anecdotes to global crises. As Tomaselli has stated, “I think that maybe the Times collages are quietly political, in that I can riff on anything I want, while the horrors of the world become the background buzz. Maybe I’m saying that the world may be going to hell, but I still keep painting.”
Fred Tomaselli (born 1956, Santa Monica, CA) has been included in numerous group international exhibitions including Open Ends, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2000), the Berlin Biennale (2001), the Liverpool Biennial (2002), the Whitney Biennial (2004), the 5th Site Santa Fe Biennial (2004), Ecstasy, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2006), Prospect 1, New Orleans Biennial (2008), Universal Code, Power Plant, Toronto and The World in The Body, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009), Between Two Worlds, Kunstmuseum Thun and The Beauty of Distance, the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010). Solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1999), Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Florida (2001), Site Santa Fe, New Mexico (2001), Albright-Knox Gallery of Art, Buffalo, New York (2003), Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2004), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2005), The Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts (2005); a major mid-career survey which travelled to the Aspen Art Museum (2009) and the Frances Tang Teaching Museum, New York and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (2010); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas and the University of Michigan Museum of Art (2014). Tomaselli’s work can be found in the public collections of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn; Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.