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Art and Design News

Art Forum Guest Speaker, Fred Tomaselli

Posted in: Announcements

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  • Fred Tomaselli
  • April 1, 2024, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
  • Calcia Hall, Room 135

Fred Tomaselli is an acclaimed American artist known for his collaged paintings, which incorporate unconventional materials and depict hallucinatory, surreal scenes. Tomaselli was born in Santa Monica, CA, and grew up in the drug-filled 1970s culture on the west coast, before moving to New York, where he immersed himself in the city’s artistic community. The artist cites the climate of 1980s New York as the inspiration for his works’ unusual materials, which include aspirin, nicotine patches, hemp leaves, hallucinogenic powders, and pills. While in the 1970s these drugs had been a source of connection to utopian visions, in the 1980s Tomaselli observed his friends using such drugs amidst a darker, Postmodern, AIDS-ridden landscape. He incorporates these materials into shimmering, glittering works that combine natural imagery with patterns and surreal backgrounds, blurring the lines between the natural and the artificial. Tomaselli’s work also touches on transcendentalism, linking the 19th century philosophy about the metaphysical found in nature to a renewed contemporary vision of this search for spiritual meaning. He has exhibited his work at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., at White Cube in London, and at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Tomaselli currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.