Empreinte, 1980

NIELE TORONI’S IMPRINTS
By Naomi Barling

Since 1966, painter Niele Toroni has applied imprints made from a number 50 paintbrush at regular intervals of 30 cm on a variety of different surfaces and supports. For his first ever established solo show in NYC and his first in the US in over 25 years, The Swiss Institute is housing an exhibition titled Opening that spans over 4 decades of the artist’s work. The works will be showcased from Jun, 3 to Sep, 6 2015. It will feature everything from imprints on waxed fabric, canvas, and paper, as well as new, site-specific works created for this show.

In 1966 Toroni started the practice he calls “Travail-Peinture.” The method consists of putting brushstrokes made with imprints of the no. 50 paintbrush repeated at vertical 30 centimeter intervals.

Throughout his career, Toroni has methodically questioned established methods of creating art, challenging accepted notions of authorship and gently mocking the figure of the artist. Through his commitment to his unique process, he attempts to liberate painting from its own representation.

These works where first shown at a debut in 1967 in Paris at an exhibition-performance at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in the Musèe d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The same year Toroni founded the art group called BMPT along with fellow artists Daniel Buren, Olivier Mosset, and Michel Parmentier.

BMPT was a Paris based late modern art group, they where the main supporters of Minimalism in France in the 1960s along with the group Supports/Surfaces. BMPT was established to challenge established methods of art making and to conceive a new social and political function for art and artists. The group pursued a radical criticism of the traditional methods of art by conceiving new possibilities and ways of working.

Over the years Niele Toroni has remained committed in his technique of “Travail-Peinture using it to challenge figurative painting. The painted surface in his work creates a space where the separation between container and contained is eliminated. What is presented to the viewer is an imprint of a number 50 paintbrush at regular intervals of 30 cm, no more, no less. This explicitly highlights the elementary meaning of painting and this simple application of pigment to canvas was revolutionary in the history of conceptual art.

The Swiss Institute is housing these works that spans over 4 decades of the artist’s work from Jun, 3 to Sep, 6 2015.

Empreinte, 1980
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