Thomas Trosch December 10, 1999 – January 22, 2000
Gallery 2

The intent of Gallery 2 is not only to show first time solo exhibitions by young artists, but also work of established and mid career artists. As well as projects by established artists working outside their standard oeuvre, Gallery 2 will also present exhibitions that show mid career artists in a new light. Mostly I see Gallery 2 as an opportunity to look more closely at work. It is fitting that this second show be work by an artist who I have known of and contemplated for the past twelve years.

I was first introduced to Thomas Trosch's work in 1988, I believe, by my then boss Daniel Newburg. Everyone who knows Daniel and remembers his gallery knows he had fantastic, insightful, brave and eclectic taste. His choices were rarely predictable. It was while working at Daniel's, between 1987 and 1989, that I first had the chance to work with artists such as Cady Noland, Blinky Palermo, John Armleder, and Wolfgang Staehle. Although our tastes naturally did not always overlap, Daniel made me think about taking risks and finding quality in a large range of work. At the time, I'm not sure I knew how to read Thomas Trosch's work. It was the late eighties and people definitely were not looking at goopy, brightly colored, lyrical, awkwardly sensitive figurative painting. But even in the zeitgeist of video work and highly conceptualized sculpture and hard-edged abstraction, Daniel was! And so, I too began to think about Thomas Trosch's work.

The reason why I have chosen to exhibit Trosch's work now is not because of nostalgia. Every time I see the work I am surprised, still delighted, and still eager to look. It's interesting to think about how time has come around to Tom's work. I am always in awe of how much perception has changed in the past ten years since opening my gallery. In 1990 it seemed that painting was almost hateful. It was hard for people to see that there is meaning embedded in the nature of painting. Perhaps we thought we already knew everything painting was and to like it made us feel like we were conceding to art history.

It appears that in the past ten years painting has been able to regain, through its own intense self-examination, its position as purposeful. Painting does hold a unique position that can clearly never be replicated in any other medium. I suppose I've learned so much from John Currin about the role and position of contemporary painting (I recently found out that Currin too is a fan of Trosch's work). Unlike photography or video, painting is never perceived as real. It is always made-up space. Trosch's space is overtly frivolous in style and subject, yet Trosch's paintings are ripe with social commentary without cynicism or irony. I imagine them as a playful fantasy life – the authentic desire to access society life, mixed with a healthy sense that the metaphor is better dreamt than lived.