Tomaselli’s interest in newsprint as material has become an extended exploration into the power of news media to shape and reshape our perceptions of reality. Conceptually, these fragments of media are similar to the psychoactive and psychedelic drugs he terms “reality modification devices.” The pharmaceutical materials that once filled his paintings are noticeably absent from his recent work, though the work has only become trippier. In this painting, the artist's newest abstraction, Tomaselli lets real life find a way into the picture. Here, we see flames lapping at the lower edge of the spiraling composition, a reference to the wildfires that continue to ravage regions across the globe.
Fred Tomaselli, James Cohan, 48 Walker St, October 23 - November 21, 2020