Niele Toroni | Artnet News

Jul 22 2015

Niele Toroni

For over fifty years, Swiss conceptualist Niele Toroni has devoted himself to a very specific way of painting. He uses only markings of a single color in any given work and a similar brushstroke repeated in regular spatial intervals 30 centimeters apart. He applies the paint using only a No. 50 paintbrush approximately two inches wide.

Toroni’s seemingly myopic enterprise—akin to that of like-minded and similarly obsessive conceptualists Daniel Buren, André Cadere, and Roman Opalka—turns out to be remarkably versatile. Toroni’s personal, yet universal, methodology sustains him; it effectively guides him through the world, and through life.

While Toroni’s painting has been well-received internationally for decades, the current exhibition at the Swiss Institute is, surprisingly, the first-ever Toroni survey in New York. The exhibition includes a range of works from those made in the 1960s to a number of site-specific murals created by Toroni specifically for this show.

It begins with a rather imposing 1968 painting of orange markings on polymer-coated fabric, drawn from MoMA’s collection, which cascades down the wall and rolls out toward the middle of the floor. This piece corresponds to a hypnotic row of twenty-five nearly identical canvases of similar orange markings on white grounds hung on the opposite wall. Marian Goodman Gallery shows support for Toroni by presenting recent works on canvas and paper, plus a site-specific mural.