Laguna Art Museum gets wild with Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature

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Laguna Art Museum will present Fred Tomaselli: Second Nature, set to showcase the influential work of Southern California-native artist, Fred Tomaselli. The exhibition explores the intersections of art, nature and contemporary culture, and will be on view from Oct. 6 to Feb. 2, 2025.

Fred Tomaselli’s Irwin’s Garden, 2023, acrylic, photo collage, leaves, and resin on wood panel, 48 x 48 inches, courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York, 2024. Photo/Dan Bradica Studio

Fred Tomaselli, who grew up and formed his early artistic sensibilities in Southern California, attended California State University, Fullerton, where he graduated with a bachelor’s in painting and drawing in 1982. His work is deeply influenced by the fantasy culture and natural beauty of the coastal environment, themes that are prominently reflected in his artworks.

“Fred Tomaselli’s work offers a vital narrative emphasizing the beauty and turmoil of our times. His uncanny ability to incorporate contemporary issues within his unique and eye-catching artistic approach allows for important conversations and deeper enjoyment of his stunning work,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum.

The exhibition, guest-curated by Laguna Art Museum Curatorial Fellow Rochelle Steiner, will feature approximately 50 of Tomaselli’s new and recent works. The works highlight his unique approach to collage-based resin paintings and his engagement with topics such as global warming, the impact of the pandemic and today’s most pressing social issues.

“Tomaselli’s work is a powerful exploration of the world at large through ideas of individual perception, shared reality, and the altered states between,” said Rochelle Steiner, guest curator for the exhibition. “This exhibition promises to provide an insightful look at today’s most pressing issues by considering collisions of nature and culture, humans and animals, science and art and our need to process the fever pitch noise that surrounds modern life.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Laguna Art Museum will publish a fully illustrated catalog authored by Rochelle Steiner; it will also feature a conversation between Tomaselli and writer Dan Nadel and include images of all of the works in the exhibition. Specially designed by Barbara Glauber/Heavy Meta, the catalog provides insights into Tomaselli’s West Coast inspirations and deeper understanding and appreciation of his recent practice. The publication will be available in late 2024.

The exhibition aligns with the museum’s annual Art + Nature initiative and will include public programs such as a talk by Fred Tomaselli on Oct. 6. Further details about the series of talks, and lectures elaborating on the exhibition themes, as well as the launch of the new publication, will be announced.

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