The long, arresting title of Tom Burr’s first show as a curator for Bortolami Gallery takes its inspiration from the poem “Mayakovsky” by Frank O’Hara. In the poem, the author delves into the nature of one’s own identity, and the relationship to other, separate, identities that surround us in our daily lives. Taking this text as a jumping off point, Tom Burr has assembled a selection of works that are interconnected by his relationships to their creators, be they personal, professional, or merely tangential.
Including works from Kaucyila Brooke, Jean Cocteau, Dan Graham, Hilary Lloyd, Sarah Lucas, Gordon Matta-Clark, Charline von Heyl and Emily Wardill among many others, the show explores the complex connections and shared experiences of a diverse group of artists, bringing their varied creative techniques to bear in the context of their relationships to Tom Burr.
Running the artistic spectrum from sculpture and paintings to video and found collage, Burr has created an expansive summary of his theme, choosing work that illuminates aspects of identity and relationship while simultaneously allowing his choices to reflect back on himself. Hovering his reputation and history over the choices he makes, Burr allows a reading of his own career alongside those of his creative comrades. As Burr’s artistic oeuvre disappears into that of his peers, “Now I am…”, calls into question whether the focus of the show is the selected artists, or Burr himself.
The show is on view until October 27th.
Image: Ken Okiishi – Marcel Duchamp’s studio on Streeteasy.com (dust breeding), permutation 5 (at Bortolami, New York), 2011-2012, Bortolami Gallery