James Cohan Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of new works by American painter, Fred Tomaselli beginning October 6 and running through November 11. Tomaselli's last solo exhibition at the gallery was in May 2003.
Tomaselli's high-octane paintings offer a dazzling display of cut-outs from fashion magazines, medical texts and ornithological guide books and layers them with plants, pills and paints. Encased in high-gloss resin, Tomaselli's conflations of hi-low cultural references radiate an intense optical overload. In the exhibitions body of work, Tomaselli draws in to examine the flora and fauna that inhabit his landscapes. The profusion of images has the effect of altering the world as we know it and creating a new ecstatic reality in its place.
The exhibition will be comprised of 5 large-scale works and a group of small portraits. In reviewing the recent exhibition at LA Museum of Contemporary Art entitled, "Ecstasy: In or About Altered States" in which Tomaselli was prominently featured, Eric Davis wrote, "Tomaselli draws attention to the actual things-the pills and organic materials-that mediate psychoactive experience. But as he painstakingly arranges these things and others into thick resin that coats his hybrid collage-paintings, he dematerializes them as well, revealing their potential to become elements of mind and pattern, like the inner-eye of whirligigs captured in his recent Millenium Phosphene Bloom." In the painting entitled, Abductor, Tomaselli takes us on his special breed of hybrid journey where a tornado cloud spews out jellyfish mandalas as it makes for land. In Hang Over, catenary-curved chains of pills, flowers and hands create a peaceful, if mutant landscape in which to rest. Tomaselli asserts, "I am constantly searching this rubble to find things worth saving, and this inquiry into utopia/dystopia-framed by artifice but motivated by the desire for the 'real' and the transformative-has turned out to be the primary subject of my work."
Fred Tomaselli's work has lately been seen in solo gallery shows in Berlin in 2005 and London in 2004. Tomaselli's most recent solo museum exhibition, "Monsters of Paradise," originated at the Fruitmarket, Edinburgh, and went on to travel to three other European museums, concluding at the Rose Museum of Art, Brandeis University, last September. Tomaselli's work has been featured on the international biennial circuit including Site Santa Fe, 2004; Whitney, 2004; Liverpool, 2002; Berlin, 2001, and Lyon in 2000.