In this week's installment of our IN FOCUS newsletter, join us in exploring the career of Swiss artist, Niele Toroni...
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Niele Toroni painting interventions in the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen. Screenshot. Video by Christian Albrecht/MGK Siegen.

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to continue IN FOCUS, our artist-centric newsletter, where we delve deeply into one artist on the MGG roster at a time. Aiming to show a fuller picture of the breadth of our artists' careers, we will feature our favorite stories, podcasts, interviews, artists’ writings, and videos from the archive, as well as new and upcoming projects.

Niele Toroni was born in 1937 in Muralto, a village on the shore of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland. At the age of 22, Toroni decided to leave his job as a schoolteacher and move to Paris to become a painter. Self-taught, Toroni became one of the first European minimalist painters in the 1960s. Over the last fifty years he has been using an unvarying working method which consists of applying, on every type of surface, imprints of a no. 50 paintbrush repeated at regular intervals of 30 cm. Considering himself as a painter, not an artist, Toroni aims at affirming the existence of painting as such. “I do not visualize ideas: I apply a paintbrush, the imprints of the paintbrush become visible, and this (the work/painting) may be generative of new ideas.

Today, as an introduction to his highly anticipated, upcoming exhibition at Galerie Marian Goodman in Paris, we explore the philosophy beyond Toroni’s imprints of the N°50 paintbrush, for which he is best known. ↓


The Museum of Modern Art’s footage of Niele Toroni interventions, as part of the exhibition Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today in 2008. See how Toroni applies his paintbrush while working on site-specific interventions and how he created for the show a "faux tableau – vraie peinture (false picture - true painting)".

A video walkthrough of Toroni’s 2015 solo exhibition at the Swiss Institute in New York. Discover the various graphic presentations Toroni applied and contributed to this exhibition, which spanned over forty years of his practice.


"Untitled" by Harald Szeemann, an essay originally published on the occasion of the exhibition Niele Toroni, held at the Museo Comunale d'Arte Moderna, in Ascona, Switzerland, in the Fall of 1991. Szeemann investigates Toroni's distinct methodologies and tells of the origins of his signature paint strokes.

René Denizot's "Difference and Repetition in the work of Niele Toroni or Painting as Crime," a transcription of a lecture he gave in 1992. Denizot, an art critic and long-time friend of Toroni's, is also the author of the seminal essay on Toroni’s practice "Une empreinte n’est jamais seule (An imprint is never alone)" (1975).


Niele Toroni's self-authored biography, which he began writing on December 6, 1986 in Paris, France and continued to amend through July 1997. Toroni is known for penning the biographies in all of his publications. Originally written for his 1997 catalogue at the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France, this one was most recently featured in the Swiss Institute's catalogue and 2015 exhibition.

Featuring a mix of commentary on his education, art-making practice, and his quotidian experiences and observations, Toroni's biography offers a window into a lesser-seen side of the artist's life.