Since the early 1990s, Fred Tomaselli's work has examined the sublime in suburban American culture. His works are instantly recognizable due to the artist's use of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs employed to create his elaborate paintings.
An exhibition of paintings organized by the Palm Beach Institute for Contemporary Art
There will be a gallery talk with the artist at 5 pm on Saturday, March 16th. This survey exhibition will include a full color catalog published by Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, with essays by exhibition curator, Amy Cappellazzo and author Rick Moody.
Since the early 1990s, Fred Tomaselli's work has examined the sublime in suburban American culture. His works are instantly recognizable due to the artist's use of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs employed to create his elaborate paintings. Hemp leaves, jimson weed, and pills ranging from aspirin to Prozac are arranged in psychedelic patterns and covered with layers of resin. Drug images are intertwined with elements of nature such as birds, flora and fauna. Tomaselli states, " All drugs manipulate reality on some level." The artist manipulates reality by challenging the viewer's visual concepts of drugs and pills, turning them into patterns that please the eye. His use of substances possessing the power to both heal and destroy are part of a larger recurring theme in the artist's work in exploring the way in which we seek to alter reality. In works such as Desert Bloom (2000), Tomaselli literally connects the homes of Utopian visionaries such as Henry David Thoreau, religious and hippie communes with those of Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) and Charles Manson. Examined together these images can be seen as, perhaps, a dysfunctional paradise.
There are approximately 34 works in this exhibition. This includes major paintings, such as Gravity's Rainbow (1999); New Jerusalem (1998); and All the Birds I can Remember Seeing/All the Drugs I Can Remember Taking (1996). In addition, many works on paper and the full set of twelve zodiac drug portraits will be included. The works chosen for this show comprise a fully comprehensive exhibition of ten years of work by Tomaselli and will mark the artist's first solo museum survey.
SITE SANTA FE PRESENTS FRED TOMASELLI
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Tomaselli moved from California to Brooklyn, New York during the mid-1980's. A widely cited anecdote of Tomaselli's childhood is that he could see Disneyland's Tinkerbell atop the Matterhorn ride from the roof of his home using binoculars. This exhibition is a survey that examines how Tomaselli has consistently commented on the escapist nature of American society and the need to both seek out and critique Utopian ways of life.
The exhibition was organized by the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Lake Worth, FL, Amy Cappellazzo, Visiting Curator, and made possible by the generous support of Robert and Mary Montgomery with additional support provided by Atelier 4 Shipping, Inc.
Concurrently with FRED TOMASELLI, SITE Santa Fe presents an exhibition of photographic works by Thomas Demand (through June 2, 2002), and a DVD projection byYasumasa Morimura (through April 7, 2002) in the Projection Room.
SITE Santa Fe is located at 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Exhibition hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $2.50 for students, teachers and seniors; members are free. Free admission is offered on Fridays and this is made possible by a grant from the Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, Texas. Free guided tours are offered on Fridays at 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tours in Spanish are by appointment. SITE Santa Fe gift certificates are available. Call 505.989.1199 for more information. This exhibition is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and the 1% Lodgers' Tax.
Contact: Emily Alsen
SITE Santa Fe
1606 Paseo de Peralta, New Mexico