Fred Tomaselli - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 14, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris
    Christie's London, 'Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale', 14 October 2007, lot 133
    Acquired from the above sale by the the previous owner
    Christie's London, 'Post War & Contemporary Art Day Sale (Afternoon)', 1 July 2008, lot 428
    Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Fred Tomaselli, May - June 1994
    Barcelona, Joan Miró Foundation,Psychodrome.02: Michel Gouery, Franz Ackerman, Fred Tomaselli, 20 December 2002 - 9 February 2003
    Toulouse, Les Abbatoirs de Toulouse, Le Printemps de Septembre à Toulouse, September - October 2005

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since the late 1980s, Fred Tomaselli has been creating meticulously crafted works incorporating ‘everyday’ objects such as pills, leaves and cut-out images from catalogues suspended into several layers of resin and acrylic paint on board. Executed in 1993, Fade into You is a prime example of Tomaselli’s exquisite and astonishingly elaborate technique. His art is the result of a highly refined craftsmanship which seems to emerge from an ancient world.

    Growing up in Southern California in the 1970s, the New York-based artist was part of the generation which searched for utopia through punk rock and drugs. Tomaselli has never hidden references to drug culture in his own work: "My generation had a hand in debunking the myth of the sublime but I couldn’t deny my chemically induced personal experiences. In a world dominated by exterior media manipulations, how fake was an experience generated from within the body?" (Tomaselli, ‘My Chemical Sublime’, in Fred Tomaselli: Monsters of Paradise, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2004, p. 43). As with his other works, Fade into You incorporates pills as decorative elements that, connected to each other by golden-leaf arabesques, take part into the artist’s creation of a seductive, almost hypnotic, world.

    Tomaselli’s oeuvre derives from a startlingly wide range of cultural references, from the Old Masters – such as Hieronymus Bosch and Arcimboldo – to contemporary performance, pattern and decoration, underground comics, punk graphics and psychedelic kitsch. But, most of all, the lies in the ability to address human beings’ desire to escape reality. By raising the opposition between nature and culture, between real and fake, the hallucinatory dimension of his work opens up windows on new worlds, suggesting that the true place to be looking for utopia is our own mind.


Fade into You

acrylic, leaves, pills and resin on panel
122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in)
Signed, titled and dated 'Fred Tomaselli 1993 FADE INTO YOU' on the reverse.

£150,000 - 250,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

15 February 2013