Skip to content
Thomas Trosch at Fredericks & Freiser in Time Out New York

It's a pity that Baltimore artist Thomas Trosch is such an infrequent exhibitor, since the exuberant paintings in this show - his first solo appearance in New York since 2009 - are an oddball tonic. A contemporary painter of an outsider-ish stripe, Trosch focuses on the high society of (specifically female) collectors, situating his often shirtless self in their moneyed midst. Slatering oil on canvas to generate some serious impasto and holding little back chromatically, Trosch improvises scenes packed with detail, leaving us without doubt about the extent to which he relishes the excesses and absurdities of his chosen milieu. 


Split between old works and new, the greater part of the show consists of the latter, each composition a buoyant mix of figurative and abstract elements, believable and fantastical situations. In The Unknown Masterpiece, two blonds decked out in shades and expensive clothing admire a painting that faces teasingly away from us within a variant on Henri Matisse's Red Studio, while the titular cephalopod in The Lady, the Artist, and the Octopus, threatens to drag the painter away from the object of his attention.


The old works, meanwhile, incorporate some hilariously deadpan speech-bubble conversations. In Dorothy Rodgers' Decorating Lesson #14, the inanity of collector conversation is sent up as one character observes to her companions, "After two or three years of eyework and footwork, I honestly came to see what some of the enthusiasm was about.