Fred Tomaselli at White Cube


left: Summer Swell (2007); right: Big Raven (2008).

I like Fred Tomaselli’s hyper-detailed psychotropic paintings a great deal. Londoners can see an exhibition of new work at the Mason’s Yard branch of White Cube until 16 May, 2009.

Tomaselli’s new work is a departure from his earlier, more direct use of pills, hemp leaves or ornithological references. The birds are painted with greater freedom, with each flame-like brushstroke animating the feathers as if an aura were radiating from the wild creature. Big Raven is inspired by the American Gothic tradition and the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, while Detail, with its dramatisation of the relationship between predator and prey, is a timely homage to Darwin’s Origin of the Species. The single, hypnotic gaze of Eye celebrates Tomaselli’s understanding of visual reciprocity – as if the bird were returning the artist’s affectionate stare. This reoccurs in the galaxies of multiple eyes found in his photograms, or monstrous apparitions created in direct response to front-page articles from the New York Times, through to the talismanic eye that emerges from the sea in Summer Swell, as if it were drowning in its own visual abundance.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Fred Tomaselli

2 thoughts on “Fred Tomaselli at White Cube”

  1. Read a very good feature about Tomaselli in a 1996 “World Art” magazine I chanced upon while cleaning up last week.

    The new work looks marvelous!

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