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Tom Burr explores the physical and psychological dimension of objects at Bortolami Gallery
Installation view at Bortolami Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Bortolami Gallery, NY.

NEW YORK, NY.- Bortolami Gallery presents Tom Burr’s second exhibition with the gallery, deep wood drive, on view now and running through April 26th. In deep wood drive Burr continues his visual exploration of the physical and psychological dimension of objects, and the fantasies we project upon their surfaces. Integral to the exhibition are works from the new series of “Clouds,” which are wooden wall panels covered with woolen blankets meticulously arranged and pinned to convey states of comfort and discomfort, order and disarray. These works are shown alongside floor-bound sculptural works that engage notions of containment, biography, and protectionism in the context of public view. The title of the exhibition refers to a childhood location where Burr grew up, where particular instances of trauma and ecstasy were played out, remembered, and then restaged at various moments in the development of his work. This exhibition refers back to that childhood moment, but also to subsequent stages of it’s reimagining, with several of the works are being conscious re-visitations of earlier themes, brought together with the “Clouds.”

Burr describes the “Cloud” series as “imprints, instead of having the neutral associations that various materials hold: canvas, fabric, paint, ink, etc., the blankets hover solidly between being a utilitarian object and a material that conforms to the work of a painting. Or, as I’ve said before, a painting that is impersonating a sculpture, or inversely, a sculpture impersonating a painting.”

Another focal point of the exhibition is a large eight-foot black metal cage, a theme that the artist has employed before. This piece, entitled Baited like Beasts, will sit in the center of the gallery’s main room, both blocking the space and framing it. There is no door to the cage, instead there are openings on each side, cut outs, or windows through the bars, allowing clearer views into the interior on the cage, and through to the surrounding exhibition.

Tom Burr (b. 1963) has exhibited at some of the world’s foremost galleries and institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Sculpture Center, New York; FRAC, Champagne-Ardenne, France; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Louisiana Museum, Denmark; The Hayward Gallery, London and The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, amongst others. Burr has been a visiting Critic at Yale School of Art, Graduate Program in Sculpture. His work is included in prestigious public and private collections around the world.

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