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View of “Tom Burr,” 2012.

Tom Burr

Bortolami Gallery

View of “Tom Burr,” 2012.

Reading through recent interviews with Tom Burr—whose second show at Bortolami, “Deep Wood Drive,” provided another persuasive demonstration of the artist’s elegaic, conceptually assured sculptures and scenarios—several recurring lines of questioning begin to emerge. Most of them are predictable enough: How does Burr locate his practice within the legacy of Minimalism? What draws him to the personae of the kinds of cultural figures—among them Truman Capote, Frank O’Hara, and Jim Morrison—that so often figure in his work? In what ways do queer politics inform his choices of certain materials and imagery?

In a few recent interviews, another less likely inquiry also gets posed more than once: Does the artist, his questioners wonder, believe in ghosts? Queries about personal attitudes toward the supernatural are hardly the typical stuff of critical discourse, but

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