The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 23, 2019

White Cube opens exhibition of new and recent works by Fred Tomaselli
Fred Tomaselli, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 2016. Acrylic over archival inkjet print, 43 x 59 3/4 in. (109.2 x 151.8 cm). © Fred Tomaselli. Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney).

LONDON.- White Cube is presenting ‘Paper’, an exhibition of new and recent works by Fred Tomaselli. As its title suggests, the exhibition focuses on works on paper and includes photograms, collages and interventions onto the front page of The New York Times.

Tomaselli began working on ‘The Times’ series in 2005 during the Bush administration and has increasingly focused on this project in the ensuing years. Using large-scale digital facsimiles of the newspaper’s front page, these works highlight the tragedy, reality and absurdity of global politics through the addition of a combination of abstract, sardonic and cosmic imagery. Seeing his intervention into this ‘paper of record’, as just another subjective, editorial decision, among the many that go into the production of news, Tomaselli attempts to engage directly with both the images and accompanying text.

Titled simply with the date on which they were published, the works are the record of important events from the past few years, albeit distributed via a medium that, in the face of increasing digital information, is fast disappearing. Tomaselli has noted that these political, bucolic images are the ‘daily facts’ of his own life, offering a time line of his own experiences. Seeking to stop time and allow the works to resonate as their facts ‘vaporize into obsolescence’, landmark events are frozen and presented for closer scrutiny: the ‘perp-walk’ by bad actors, the warming of the planet or the actions of global leaders.

Both emotive and humorous, these pictorial subversions of familiar news images recall the dark humour of the German Expressionists, but more specifically the ‘Constellation’ drawings of Joan Miró begun in 1939 at the outset of WWII. In these drawings Miró arranged abstract shapes on paper like a constellation of stars, appearing to offer a serene, cosmic and infinite vision which transcended the horrors of the daily destruction of war. Similarly, Tomaselli says he is attempting to convey the ‘bipolar relationship between beauty and pain’ that defines current existence. In one work, for example, a Ukrainian woman mourning the tragedy of the Malaysian plane crash, carries a bouquet of flowers that obscures her face, the forms of which have been extended with real leaves, paint and photo-collage, into a stylised, all-over Mogul-like pattern spreading across the entire image. In another, a team of negotiators in the Iran nuclear deal burn out their eyes by staring into the sun, our solar system’s original nuclear furnace.

Tomaselli is a visual taxonomist who uses a process of collecting and cataloguing visual data – from newspapers, magazines or field guides to anatomical or botanical illustrations – as a way to interpret and understand the world. Produced alongside his paintings, the resulting collages exhibit a more direct and unmediated relationship with their source material, emerging out of what the artist calls ‘the rubble of utopian thinking’ − itself the legacy of a failed ‘60s transcendentalism combined with the volatile anger of punk. In this way, his delicate, complex and polymorphous images are able to deal with both an abundance of hedonistic beauty as well as ugly, political reality. In some places the hallucinatory, transformative nature of his imagery is overt, while in others it is more discreet. An infographic about global warming, for example, has been obfuscated by swirling amoeba-like patterns in orange, red and purple. While another image shows former billionaire investor Raj Rajaratnam, who was so scrutinised by the media during his insider trading scandal, reduced to simply an x-ray.

Like ‘The Times’ series of works, Tomaselli’s photograms and chemical portraits employ another dying, analogue media – that of chemical based photography. For the artist, paper is essentially the material that is being replaced by screens. First produced in the 1990s, Tomaselli’s chemical portraits attempt to get ‘into the inner and outer space of the sitter’: the process begins with the sitter answering a list of questions such as their date of birth and drug history. With this information Tomaselli creates images of constellations using the photogram process, depicting his sitter’s astrological sign and characteristics, reflecting the idea that in many cultures the exact time of birth determines the course of a person’s life. The artist adds, as collaged elements, any drugs that the sitter has used in order to suggest the modified reality that makes-up every individual experience. Exhibited with one image for each month of the year, the group of portraits alludes to a community of friends, while chronicling the passing of time.

Other photograms in the exhibition incorporate leaves grown in the artist’s own garden, harvested and then preserved. These flattened leaves are arranged onto photographic paper, which is then exposed to light and developed into photographs. The resulting images are painted over with colourful, hard-edged geometric patterns evoking floral still lifes, which ultimately remind us that nature and beauty persist despite the absurdity and horror of the world.

Today's News

March 18, 2017

Art world horrified by President Donald Trump's push to end funding

TEFAF's top masterpiece goes to the Rijksmuseum

Saint Louis Art Museum installs recently acquired Théodore Rousseau painting

Rediscovered Rodin masterpiece soon at auction in Paris

White Cube opens exhibition of new and recent works by Fred Tomaselli

First exhibition to make extensive use of Robert Rauschenberg's archives opens

Private and institutional collections are bolstered through sales at TEFAF Maastricht 2017

Artist Charlemagne Palestine creates installation of hundreds of teddy bears at The Jewish Museum

Phillips announces highlights from April Photographs Auction

Compton Verney's 2017 season opens with a major exhibition examining the rural idyll past and present

Longtime Birmingham Museum of Art Director Gail Andrews to retire

Major new exhibition opens exploring the human form within art, fashion and design

Caribbean poet and Nobel laureate Derek Walcott dies

Firstsite opens a major solo exhibition by acclaimed Chinese artist Zhang Enli

Limited edition 35 cm "So Black" Hermès Alligator Birkin bag highlights Heritage Auctions sale

Jakob Lena Knebl opens exhibition at mumok

Leading Indian artist visualises the raw reality of refugees and female oppression in spellbinding images

Large oil portrait painting by William McGregor Paxton will be sold at auction

Dineo Seshee Bopape receives the Future Generation Art Prize 2017

Large format works in acrylic on canvas by Sibylle Springer on view at GAK Bremen

Signe Pierce's "Virtual Normality" presented at Galerie Nathalie Halgand

Raquel Maulwurf develops installation 'The Carbon War Room' for the Gemeentemuseum

Ukrainian Institute of America opens selling exhibition of works by Mykhailo Deyak

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful