Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Inspirational work from Fred Tomaselli

I have long admired the work of Fred Tomaselli, something about the delicate patterns combined with the use of dark backdrops and popping drops of color to create space have always caught my eye. I admittedly did not know much about his work other than that it was deceptively collage. Or even 'real' collage, just done in a manner that maybe i had never seen before.

I almost missed my chance to see his work in person at the Brooklyn Museum but managed somehow to cab it over there for the last day of the show, and boy did it not disappoint.One thing that i was immediately struck by was the antiqued color pallette combined with the bright accents immediately references the illuminated book tradition of bright colors against the aging book page. Tomaselli creates his own tradition by using collages elements (from my eye either pills or leaves) encased in resin which create their own antiqued look and are accented, like the illuminated page, with his colorful and decorative paintings.I also was loving the scale of the work, sometimes paintings with this sort of detail are done in a scale that is very small and speaks to its delicate nature. But these were large scale works with big impact. Even the simplest collages with pills and resin only were excited with their fluid use of patterns.Some paintings combined all of his motifs, of pills,foliage, decorative star bursts, repetition of themes and you can can really see where his named influence of quilting comes in to give form to the collage.
A very inspirational show!