'Psychedelia' artist Fred Tomaselli to speak at museum

'Psychedelia' artist Fred Tomaselli to speak at museum

CHAMPAIGN – Visual artist Fred Tomaselli, described by The New York Times as contemporary art's "most technically gifted purveyor of psychedelia," will give a talk at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Krannert Art Museum.

Tomaselli's lecture in Room 62 in the lower level of the museum is part of the annual Jerrold Ziff Distinguished Lecture on Modern Art series.

The event is free and open to the public.

In a 2006 review of Tomaselli's work, art critic Jeffrey Kastner wrote that the artist's suite of "complex collaged paintings extends a career-long fascination with the kaleidoscopic profusion he detects beneath the familiar surface of things."

"As always, Mr. Tomaselli's new work suggests a trippy descendant of the Italian Mannerist painter Arcimboldo; his richly decorated, increasingly figurative scenarios (here featuring trees and flowers, birds, snakes and even humans) are built from literally hundreds of tiny found images, carefully excised from their original contexts and integrated into intricately painted compositions.

"These new works still occasionally employ the artist's signature incorporation of actual drugs into the thick layers of high-gloss resin that encase his pictures," Kastner wrote.

"These dazzling arrays, with their cannabis-leaf rosettes and garlands of candy-colored pills, draft the very tools of pharmacology into images that evoke the perceptual enhancements they produce. Yet the current work gestures less toward the pharmaceutical than usual; the mind-altering substance here is unadulterated sensory saturation."