Saturday, April 28, 2012

Niele Toroni

Each member of BMPT (Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni – formed in 1966) chose an individual form or mark with which to contest issues of authorship, originality, commercialism, aesthetic consumerism or institutional relations.  Buren’s signature mark was the stripe, for Olivier Mosset it was the circle, for Michel Parmentier the striped monochrome.

Niele Toroni’s strategy was to make “imprints of a No 50 paintbrush repeated in regular intervals of 30cm”, a single motif he has continued to employ since 1967.

A form of reduced painting, this spare practice engages a series of apparent contradictions. The touch of the brush is at once generic and particular. No two brushstrokes can ever be identical yet their repetition diverts attention from individual mark making. The participation of the artist is necessary but his role is emptied of subjective content.

Like that of Sol LeWitt, much of the liveliness of Toroni’s work comes from the intersection of an idea and a place, but while LeWitt was a fertile producer of ideas for art Toroni has confined himself to one. He has rightly understood that if the place and the occasion changes then the idea can remain the same. If the motif is the same each time, then attention is brought to bear on the institutional or architectural frame.