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Westfälischer Kunstverein exhibits five new sculptures by Tom Burr
Tom Burr, Surplus of Myself, 10 June–1 October 2017. Installation view Westfälischer Kunstverein. Photo: Thorsten Arendt. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Neu, Berlin and Bortolami, New York.

MUNSTER.- For almost three decades, Tom Burr’s sculpture, writing, collage, and photography have focused on access, site-specificity, the confluence of public and private environments, as well as the constructed persona. With the fifth edition of Skulptur Projekte Münster as a backdrop to all of Münster’s artistic and cultural endeavours in the summer of 2017, Burr chose to reflect upon this synchrony by adopting the decennial’s characteristic feature of adding, layering, framing, and juxtaposing artworks from different time periods. While the city of Münster is host to several artworks from the Skulptur Projekte editions of 1977 through today, Westfälischer Kunstverein presents five new sculptures by Tom Burr amidst a selection of earlier works.

Appropriating the formal vocabulary of minimalism, Burr charges these seemingly neutral shapes and materials with innumerable connotations and references often associated with the emancipation of subcultures or details from his own biography. Burr processes architectural influences, such as brutalism, icons from the musical world, literature, art and politics.

He is currently working on a year-long project in New Haven, Connecticut, where he engages with the architecture of a 1969 Marcel Breuer building, that once housed the headquarters of Armstrong Rubber (later Pirelli Tire). In both New Haven and Münster, Tom Burr is focusing on similarities between human and architectural bodies as well as the restrictions and constrictions inflicted upon them by structural, social or other authorities.

The exhibition is curated by Kristina Scepanski, director of Westfälischer Kunstverein.

Benz Bonin Burr collaboration with Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017
Benz Bonin Burr is a site-specific collaborative work by Cosima von Bonin (b. 1962, lives and works in Cologne) and Tom Burr (b. 1963, lives and works in New York) situated right in front of the Kunstverein and the adjacent State Museum (LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur). The bold gesture of a Mercedes truck, a flatbed trailer, and a huge black crate can be read as the artists’ subtle comment on the design of this particular public space. Used by the museum as a representative outdoor lobby, sculptures and other spatial and architectural interventions might seem utilized for promotional and branding purposes. This positive PR effect of most art in the public space is ubiquitous—a fact that von Bonin and Burr critically embrace with the seductive and potent alliteration of their title Benz Bonin Burr.

Benz Bonin Burr is commissioned by Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 and produced by Westfälischer Kunstverein. With thanks to Beresa GmbH & Co. KG, Schmitz Cargobull AG, Stiftung Storch, Sabine and Christian DuMont Schütte, Michael Neff.

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