27 SEPTEMBER - 3 NOVEMBER 1996
The Urge to Be Transported is the first solo exhibition in the Southwest of work by sculptor and painter Fred Tomaselli. The exhibition features large-scale paintings in which the artist combines traditional materials such as acrylic paint with a variety of pharmaceuticals to create eye-catching pattern and form.
To Tomaselli, the urge to experience something beyond humdrum reality is a basic part of human life, “whether the vehicle is drugs, art, entertainment, sex, or religion.” He links two aspects of this escapist desire by incorporating drugs in his unabashedly beautiful paintings. Although the pills and leaves are encased in resin and thus no longer possess any physiological potency, they retain the visual and symbolic power to alter the viewer’s consciousness as art. “Painting has traditionally been seen as a window onto another reality, a kind of rectangular utopia of relief,” says Tomaselli. “I am interested in the relationship between this myth and the broader culture that contains it – a culture of relief seeking, reality avoidance and forgetfulness.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Solo exhibitions of Tomaselli’s work have been held at Jack Tilton Gallery, New York (1995, 1993); Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, California (1995, 1994, 1992); Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris, France (1994); and White Columns, New York (1992). He has also been featured in group exhibitions including Better Living Through Chemistry, Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago (1995); Corcoran Biennial of American Painting, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (1994); and Fever, Exit Art, New York (1993). The artist currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.