Tom Burr and Cosima von Bonin

    summer of ’17 (no more public art), 2018

    Sterling silver necklace with six charms
    Dimensions varibale
    Edition of 25 + 2 AP


    Eight years apart, SculptureCenter presented solo exhibitions by longtime friends Tom Burr (Addict-Love, 2008) and Cosima von Bonin (Who's Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?, 2016). For the decennial Skulptur Projekte Münster exhibition in 2017, von Bonin parked a Mercedes Benz flatbed trailer in a public square, making it appear poised to pack up an existing monumental Henry Moore sculpture and truck it away. Burr added to the truck a black wooden shipping crate marked FRAGILE. This joint work, Benz Bonin Burr, is the starting point for Burr and von Bonin's new collaboration for SculptureCenter's Limited Edition program.


    Their edition, summer of ’17 (no more public art), is a sterling silver necklace with six charms in silhouette: a Benz Actros 6x4 Rigid truck, an art shipping crate, the initials B B B, and the word FRAGILE in all caps, excised from their Münster crate and now, perhaps, identifying the wearer, the artists, or public life itself. Both an exercise in self branding and a wry flirtation with the heft and self-importance of certain monumental art, summer of ’17 (no more public art) invokes a few ways to clear the pretensions of the art historical slate: brute force, slight absurdity, or a threat to treat sculpture with the preciousness and heavy rigging it paradoxically seems to require at once. It is also, as the title suggests, a memento of a collaboration-as-affair, marked by place and the traffic of time.


    Highly portable in necklace form, Burr and von Bonin's tow-away service is emblematic of the dry (but very different) humor present in both artists' work. Focusing on a mundane logistical operation of the art world and casting it in silver, summer of ’17 (no more public art) is a token of straightforward empowerment in the face of entrenched ideas of permanence, monumentality, and artistic bravura. If it's not working anymore, one can always call a truck and tow it away.


    Tom Burr was born in Connecticut in 1963, and lives and works in New York. SculptureCenter hosted his solo show titled Addict-Love in 2008. Burr has presented solo exhibitions at Auroras, São Paulo, Brazil (2019); SCAD Museum of Art; Savannah, GA (2018); Galerie Neu, Berlin, Germany (2017); and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Straying from the Line, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany (2019); SUR/FACE: Mirrors, Museum Angewandtekunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2017); MOCA’s 15th Anniversary Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL (2012); and The World is Yours, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark (2010). Burr's work is collected by several prestigious institutions worldwide, including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, MOCA, Los Angeles, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


    Cosima von Bonin was born in Kenya in 1962, and lives and works in Cologne. She had her first solo museum exhibition in New York City at SculptureCenter in 2016. von Bonin has exhibited in art institutions worldwide, including MUMOK, Vienna (2014); Artipelag, Sweden (2013); Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis (2011); Arnolfini, Bristol (2011); Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva (2011); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2011); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007); and documenta 12, Kassel (2007). Her work is included in group exhibitions at Museum of Modern Art in New York; Les Abbatoirs in Toulouse, France; and Documenta XII in Kassel, Germany, among many others. Her work is collected by prestigious museums, including Tate Britain in London; the Museum für Neue Kunst im ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany; and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO.