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Niele Toroni

Empreinte de pinceau n° 50 répétées à intervalles réguliers de 30cm, 1993
acrylic on beech
150.0 x 140.0 cm
Falling within a radical artistic conception, resulting from the collective thinking undertaken with the B.M.P.T. group, in 1966, Niele Toroni settled on a work method from which he would never stray: the imprint of monochrome colour of a flat no. 50 paintbrush (50 millimetres wide) applied to a surface at regular thirty centimetre intervals would henceforth be his only subject.

The fruit of an avoidance strategy aiming to break with the pictorial conventions of the time, this trace became a sign which distanced painting from any illusionism, and expressed a refusal of representation. Fictional contents, messages and emotions are kept at a distance by the recurrence of a simple motif, and by the determination of an unchanged procedure, based on a repetitive gesture. His oeuvre defies questions of style, composition, virtuosity and originality. Far from being banal or facile, this humble and exacting approach, which consists of depositing on a surface the mark left by a paintbrush loaded with paint, above all aims to liberate the act of painting from any intention. It is not a question of depicting, reproducing or representing, but of quite simply producing painting in its purest essence, letting it unfold according to its own rules.

Freed of any conformist boundary, any material constraint, Toroni intervenes on all mediums possible (canvas, paper, cotton, oilcloth, wood, wall, floor) whose surface he endeavours – by his process of not-covering – to make exist. The imprints are never created for themselves, but always in their relation to a background which breathes regularly with each interval. A kind of conceptual asceticism, his practice is autonomous and one that can be applied ad infinitum, leaving behind the boundaries of the canvas to spread out in space, in an endlessly renewed assertion regarding the autonomy of painting.
Niele Toroni, Empreinte de pinceau n° 50 répétées à intervalles réguliers de 30cm, Abdrücke eines Pinsels Nr. 50, wiederholt in regelmässigen Abständen von 30 cm, 1993