Tuesday to Sunday
11 AM - 5 PM

Empreintes de pinceau n° 50 répétées à intervalles réguliers (30 cm)



Niele Toroni

Currently not on display
Acquired in 1979
Inventory number 839

The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 3400 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.

If you need specific information on this work or artist, remember that the Van Abbemuseum Library is at your disposal, or feel free to write to the library.


For this work the Swiss artist Niele Toroni placed some green prints of a brush on a mounted piece of washcloth. As the title of the work indicates, the prints were made with a brush no. 50 and placed at regular intervals of 30cm. Toroni placed the prints in horizontal lines. He positioned the prints of each line underneath the interval above.

Toroni worked on the series 'Empreintes de pinceau no. 50 répétées à intervalles réguliers (30 cm)' from 1967. In each painting of the series he placed his flat brush horizontally on the background and then drew it a little way down, creating the characteristic shape of the print: a fairly straight top edge, a shape which tapers down slightly, and a ragged lower edge. This act was constantly repeated within a work, but also in every new work. The result is always similar, but because it is done by hand, it is also different every time. Furthermore, Toroni used a different colour paint and a different size backing for each work and the material used for the backing also varied. The number of prints per work was determined in most cases by the size of the backing. Sometimes Toroni painted part of a wall or floor, emphasizing a particular part of a space.

He worked with a clearly formulated starting point, and on this basis his work can be imagined before it has been completed. Therefore it could be classified as Conceptual art, but Toroni’s concept is based on the act of painting and could therefore also be viewed as Fundamental painting. With his prints, Toroni wished to reflect the essence of painting. A painting can be a representation or be abstract, it can be intended to express a particular thought or a particular feeling, it can be an illustration of the world view of the maker, but beyond everything, a painting is always the result of an act of painting. Toroni limited himself to this. With his prints he constantly referred to what a painting is in the most neutral possible way, though still very personally.