Empreintes de pinceau no. 50, 1998

Niele Toroni

Acrylic on wall
Various dimensions

© 2006, Niele Toroni

Image copyright Stefan Altenburger

It's not a new form and it's not an old form, and it is not a geometric shape.

On the side of an elevated walkway are small blue brushmarks, each 5 cm wide that appear in a grid-like fashion at 30 cm intervals. These are Niele Toroni’s trademark "fingerprints" that he has carefully dabbed with his no.50 paintbrush, a technique that he has adopted since 1967. He always uses the same technique (and size of brush) of applying the colour with his brush for each spot, but varies the colours and, of course, the location.

"What interests me", says Toroni, "is that I don’t invent a form…each stain is different." For every new project an assistant marks out the spots where he needs to place his brush, after which Toroni then makes the marks from top left to bottom right. It is systematic and singular. Some have compared Toroni’s work to both Op art and minimalism but Toroni likes to avoid defining what he does. "It’s not a new form", he says "and it's not an old form, and it's not a geometric shape."