Untitled, 2020, depicts a bird composed of plastic detritus in a vortex of newsprint and painted spirals. The arcadian landscapes that form the background of many of Tomaselli’s compositions have long been the product of nostalgia for the bucolic California he grew up in. Here, the central bird figure is set—for the first time—within a distinctly urban landscape: the view from the north window of his East Village studio. This painting, which the artist returned to and extensively reworked after several months in lockdown, reflects a yearning and nostalgia for urban life. The bird casts an omniscient, all-seeing eye over a city under threat.
Fred Tomaselli, James Cohan, 48 Walker St, October 23 - November 21, 2020