Past Exhibitions

January 13 - March 30, 2008

Tom Burr: Addict-Love


In Addict-Love, Tom Burr creates a constellation of abstract tableaux reflecting on elements of modernity: its histories, its personalities, its frailties, and its styles. Burr ruminates on specific figures, vague moments, and the heady mise-en-scıs that both gave rise to and were shaped by modernism's powerful ideologies. Burr uses specific forms of the theater - platforms/stages, railings, curtains, lighting, mirrors, and personal articles that function allegorically. These sculptural props suggest a memory of modernism and a history of sculpture as a series of scripted gestures to be performed and endlessly repeated.

Three figures serve as ınence grise in Addict-Love: Frank O'Hara, Chick Austin, and Kurt Weill. The exhibition title is borrowed from a poem by Frank O'Hara. A poet of the New York School, O'Hara was also a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in the early 1960s, and counted among his circle John Ashbery and Jackson Pollack. Chick Austin, Director of the Wadsworth Atheneum 1927 - 1944, was instrumental in introducing European Modernism to the United States (hosting Picasso's first U.S. museum exhibition in 1934) and making Hartford a gathering place for the international intelligentsia including Gertrude Stein, Le Corbusier, Salvador Dali, and George Balanchine. The composer Kurt Weill is important in Burr's subjective history as an ıgrıhose work spanned Brechtian theater in 1920s Berlin to Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals. For Burr, each of these men embodied the modern of their own era.

Tom Burr, Installation of Addict-Love, 2008. 


Interview with Tom Burr