“The two works in the room are part of a sporadic group begun in the mid 2000’s - hinged structures - which are both abstract and descriptive, mimicking bodies, furniture, blank forms and surfaces, pieces of architecture. They suggest ways to occupy, or be occupied by space generally, as well as the specific spaces they’re placed in.
The title came from the room itself and the building that contains it: a room with a pedagogical past, now used for exhibition, exposure and transaction.
The two structures are put in relation to one another, each set apart but in tandem - alone together - one raised on a carpeted platform, the other on the wood floor but suspended, connected to the ceiling of the room. They form different styles of elevation and debasement. Clamps; plastic sheeting; synthetic fabric; glass mirrors; and printed material are connected to the hinged wood armatures, pulling them in one direction or another.
Echos of this school room, or any classroom, reverberate alongside those of other similar spaces, forming a spectrum: scholastic spaces, medical spaces; precincts of detainment, containment, examination, and exhibition all jumbled together, each reflected in the others.”
Tom Burr was born in 1963, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Over the past year he has been working on The Torrington Project, occupying an expansive former factory building in Torrington, Connecticut, where he has arranged examples from all phases of his work in a fluid, ongoing process. Selected solo exhibitions and projects include Nine Renovations, a public commission presented as part of Frieze New York (2022); Conversions, Fondazione Converso, Milan, Italy (2020); Hélio-Centricities, auroras, São Paulo, Brazil and Hélio-Centricities: Coda, Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2019); Tom Burr / MATRIX 182 / Hinged Figures, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, USA (2019); Screen, Hessel Museum of Art, CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA (2018); Sedimental, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, USA (2018);Tom Burr/New Haven, Body/Building: Pre-Existing Conditions, Breuer Armstrong Rubber building, New Haven, Connecticut (a year long project as part of Bortolami Gallery's ‘Artist/City’ initiative) (2017); Surplus of Myself, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2017); Grips, Dressage, Parcours, Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2013); Addict – Love, Sculpture Center, New York (2008); Gone, Gone, American Fine Arts, New York, (2003); Deep Purple, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2002).
Selected group exhibitions include Life Between Buildings, MoMA PS1, New York, USA (2022); Church for Sale: Works from the Haubrok Collection and the Nationalgalerie Collection, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany (2021); Köln Skulptur #10, Über Natur – Natural Takeover, Skulpturenpark Köln, Cologne, Germany (2020); Queer Spaces: London, 1980s – Today, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2019); Cruising Pavillion, Spazio Punch, 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy (2018); Sculpture Projects Münster, Münster, Germany (2017); Question the Wall Itself, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Béton, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2016); To expose, to show, to demonstrate, to inform, to offer, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria (2015) and Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014).
Tom Burr: detention/suspension/expulsion | Press Release