Mike Weiss Gallery is pleased to present Color Study, an exhibition featuring new works by Brooklyn-based artist Tom Fruin. This exhibition marks the first time Fruin’s sculptures, usually seen against the backdrop of the city, will appear in the gallery context here in New York.
Fruin takes on recognizably urban objects (houses, billboards, flags, and watertowers) by elevating their forms to an emblematic status and architectural scale. His work can currently be seen when driving on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway or when in DUMBO, where one of his Watertowers has served as the unofficial guardian of the cultural melting pot and rapidly gentrifying community beneath it for the last year. Using found sign shop offcuts and brilliantly-hued plexi-glass scraps from the streets of Chinatown, Fruin weaves patchworks of primary colors into striated grids by utilizing the compositionality developed in his earlier drug-bag quilts. Broadening the quilts and their context, Fruin takes the visual language of the cultural symbols embedded on the drug-bags (cigar wrappers, eight balls, dice) and expands upon their forgotten existence by framing them next to or within other mementos, remembrances, and gestures of the urban sprawl. The works offer new introspection into the secret language of the overlooked communities aesthetically elevated within his work. With color compositions that reverb and engage, Color Study also expands upon the energy and syncopation of New York (and the metropolitan experience) in the tradition of Piet Mondrian. The structures, illuminated from within, flash and dim to their own internal rhythms becoming beacons of color and temples of light dotting city skylines and community parks and now, for the first time, the gallery. Within his work we find nocturnally radiant landmarks and city-specific artifacts that transform public space 24/7. Color Study initiates an ongoing conversation between the city and its occupants by examining the secret language of the overlooked through the lens of the iconic status inherent in the structures Fruin creates.
Tom Fruin has exhibited in over 25 solo shows and over 30 group shows in the US and internationally. He has appeared in publications including Sculpture Magazine, Architectural Digest, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, FlashArt, and many others. His works are in collections such as The Margulies Collection, FL, the Richard J. Massey Foundation for Arts and Sciences, NY, The Hanck Collection at the Museum Kunstpalast, Germany, and The Buenos Aires Design Center (Centro Metropolitano de Diseño).