Niele Toroni

Biographical Data

Born in Locarno-Muralto, Switzerland, in 1937. He lives and works in Paris. Niele Toroni starts painting as an autodidact. In 1966-1967 he is one of the founding members of the BMPT (Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni) group that pursues a radical criticism of the “obsolescence” of the French art system through different actions and manifestations. His work is first exhibited in Paris in 1967 at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, where his first individual exhibition will take place in 1969.

Brief Chronology

In 1966 Niele Toroni decides to commit himself exclusively to a radical concept he calls “Travail-Peinture” (work/painting). He will only work with a single motif: “imprints of a nº50 paintbrush repeated in regular intervals of 30 cm” (Brush nº50: flat brush, 50 mm wide). In 1966 he begins showing “his art before than showing himself”. He continues executing his brush imprints in different colors and “materially inscribes” them on diverse, usually white, surfaces: canvas, paper, oil cloth, walls, doors, floors, etc. He does direct interventions on the exhibit rooms to emphasize the material reality of these spaces. He explains that, this way, “he tries to make painting without feeling” and believes that “by reduction to the absurd, it could be said that the whole history of painting has always been the imprint of the artist. But leaving the imprint of the painting before than my imprint as an artist has always been my motivation”



Empreinte de pinceau n° 50 à intervalles de 30 cm, 1994, Acrylic on photo, 79,8 x 51,7 cm / 31,4 x 20,3 in.