New York

Tom Burr

Bortolami Gallery

There was no single work in Tom Burr’s recent exhibition “sentence” that was truly emblematic of the whole, but one pair at least came close. The two sculptures his personal effects (White) and (Natural) (both 2009) demonstrate a bold juxtaposition of randomness and precision and a fascination with the aura of ephemeral objects that united all the pieces here. Enclosing two pairs of worn-out sneakers in Plexiglas cases—one per shoe—and placing them atop wooden pedestals of differing heights colored according to the works’ subtitles, the New York– and Norfolk, Connecticut–based artist seems to have framed his exhibition as a meditation on entropy and loss—a series of forward steps that cohere only with a backward glance.

Burr made his name in the early 1990s, alongside Cady Noland, at Colin de Land’s storied gallery American Fine Arts, and “sentence” retains aesthetic and atmospheric traces

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