Tom LaDuke


graphite on yupo paper
10 x 13 inches

Tom LaDuke quotes a variety of sources, from art historical to cinematic, in his enigmatic and meticulously rendered works. LaDuke recontextualizes his references through strategies like cropping, blurring, and erasure, thereby giving them new meanings, while retaining the surrealist quality of seeing a familiar object out of place. In Bruegel, Phantom, a ghostly shape floats in the cosmos. LaDuke’s title would lead us to believe it is an element from a work by Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel (or one of his sons), though now it exists in a cognitive limbo where the viewer senses it has a source (a rocky outcropping or folds of fabric?), but cannot identify it. The effect is a stark work that is both visually and conceptually haunting. LaDuke has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including one in 2010 at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, which then traveled to Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He has been included in group exhibitions at Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; Portland Art Museum; and Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem. He is in a number of public collections, including Guggenheim Museum, New York; MoCA, Los Angeles; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and Speed Art Museum, Louisville.