News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
March 5, 2021
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Brooklyn Painter Thrills

By Lisa M. Collins
Fred Tomaselli (American, b. 1956). Big Raven, 2008. Acrylic, photocollage, and resin on wood panel, 84 x 72 in. (213.4 x 182.9 cm). Private collection, courtesy of the artist, White Cube, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York


To Jan. 2: The Brooklyn Museum features a mid-career survey of works by Brooklyn resident Fred Tomaselli, including hybrid paintings and collages from 1990 to the present. The Paris Review gushes about the show, saying: “Fortunately for dwellers of Kings County—and others who hold resident New York bards dear—Fred Tomaselli was simultaneously putting the finishing touches on the installation of his latest crackerjack show: his unabashedly gorgeous, conceptually expansive midcareer retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum.”

The show features layered paintings combining cutout images of plants, birds, smiling mouths, and hands (clipped from field guides and magazines) with passages of paint and actual prescription pills and hallucinogenic plants to create highly stylized, eye-popping compositions. Tomaselli’s artwork draws upon a wide range of sources from both popular culture and art history, and from his own hobbies of gardening, kayaking, and bird-watching. Growing up near the desert in southern California, Tomaselli felt the influence of nearby theme parks, with their manufactured reality, and the music and drug counterculture of Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s.

Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway

2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum


Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Wed: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thurs, Fri: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sat, Sun: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. First Saturday of every month: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.



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