FRED TOMASELLI: Current Events
May 1 - June 14, 2014
Press Preview: Thursday, May 1, 10-11:00am
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 1, 6-8:00pm
Gallery Talk and Book Signing: Saturday, May 10, 10am-12:00pm
James Cohan Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Brooklyn-based artist Fred Tomaselli. Current Events opens on May 1 and runs through June 14. This is the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Tomaselli will present 8 new paintings and over 30 works from his ongoing New York Times collage series. On the occasion of Current Events a new publication, Fred Tomaselli: The Times, is to be released by Prestel. The series also will be the subject of a touring exhibition to open at the University of Michigan Art Museum in October 2014 and will travel to the Orange County Museum of Art in February 2015.
For Fred Tomaselli, art has psychotropic properties; it creates a pathway to altering and rearranging our perceptions of reality. Over the course of a career that spans three decades, Tomaselli has transformed his daily life and many obsessions—gardening, birding, fly-fishing, recreational drugs into mind-bending, consciousness-expanding paintings. On Wednesday, March 16th, 2005 a new element from his everyday entered Tomaselli’s practice—The New York Times. He became absorbed by the photo on the front page in which he describes, “Bernie Ebbers, the just convicted WorldCom chairman, was clutching the hand of his wife as he was being expelled from ‘the Eden of Finance’ by the camera-wielding angels of the paparazzi.” Drawing and collaging directly on the photo, Tomaselli created his first “collaboration” with the lead page of The New York Times. The series now consists of 80+ works.
More than ever, the works in Current Events are a collision between the personal and the political; the injection of the news of the day is like an existential interruption into a paradisiacal world. Tomaselli sites Miro’s Constellations series made during the war in the 1940’s as a parallel. He explains, “Constellations are resolutely political insofar as these works advocate for a certain kind of humanity at the very moment that that culture was being destroyed, those people were being destroyed. Such the mere fact that he made this body of work at this time was profoundly political.”