Thomas Trosch, Japanese Lesson #23, 1993, oil on canvas, 48 × 68".

Thomas Trosch

Fredericks & Freiser

Thomas Trosch, Japanese Lesson #23, 1993, oil on canvas, 48 × 68".

Exemplifying truth in labeling, “Thomas Trosch: Paintings New and Old” presented a dozen paintings made between 2010 and 2017, along with two from 1993 and three dated 1996. Then and now, it’s been hard to know how to receive this work, which is almost ridiculously ambitious yet so eccentrically campy that some might dismiss it as vapid (or, worse, “idiotic,” as Benjamin Weissman worried in these pages in 1993). Perhaps as a result, Trosch has been shamefully neglected by the critics—myself included. His sheer incalcitrant originality has probably done his career as much harm as it’s done his art good.

Trosch’s early paintings conjure a Florine Stettheimer fantasy of Park Avenue society ladies—Stettheimer being the one obligatory reference on the rare occasions when Trosch has been discussed in print—which made it a happy coincidence that his show partly coincided

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