new-york

Niele Toroni, 25 Paintings, 1987, acrylic on twenty-five canvases. Installation view, Swiss Institute, 2015.

Niele Toroni

Swiss Institute/Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Niele Toroni, 25 Paintings, 1987, acrylic on twenty-five canvases. Installation view, Swiss Institute, 2015.

CHUTES, 2000, a little-known work by legendary Swiss artist Niele Toroni, consists of four pennant-like fragments of blue, red, pink, and black paper marked according to the method he adopted in 1966: by pressing the bristles of a no. 50 brush—first one side, then the other—to a given support to produce squarish daubs of color (in this case, orange) at regular thirty-centimeter intervals. In the original French, the title suggests the shapes are the material scraps or cast-off bits of something else, but in the hands of a painter famously prone to puns, it also begs for other, less literal readings, having to do with the artist’s larger conception of his enterprise—indeed, with the very possibilities and impossibilities of painting today. Toroni, who works across a broad range of support types of equally varied dimensions, has long refused the notion of an “ideal

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