Tom Melsen’s Timely Paintings Address the Drama of Contemporary Life

These paintings are stunning and captivating- Read along for Paul Weiner’s insightful interview about artist Tom Melsen.

Critique Collective

Tom Melsen’s paintings fuse the dramatic and aggressive into a melancholy that can be seen as a result of his peripatetic travels, a reflection of the places he has experienced. His paintings emerge out of a liminal space between the intelligibility of representation and abstraction’s poetic theatrics. Indeed, Melsen’s paint handling exists in a space that makes odd bedfellows of Peter Doig and Cecily Brown as his compositions blend unsettling passages of quietude and conservative color choices with consistently bold punches of intuitive paint application and occasional layers of glowing chroma. With an unflinching gaze, Melsen captures the jouissance of painterly turmoil through which a balancing act between discomfort and pleasure reveals the psychological essence of captured identities and landscapes. He is at his best when representing fictional, anonymous people such as a man in a brown suit, someone blowing out birthday candles, or a partygoer. These paintings feel free and inventive while maintaining the hawkishly staring study…

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