Times Square sex shops, public bathrooms, a park: these cruising grounds, among others, took center stage in Tom Burr’s early investigations of public and private space. “Circa” brings together select objects from Burr’s output of the ‘90s with a series of new sculptures, titled “Grips.” Photographs taken between 1994 and 1999 of Times Square signage, manicured hedges of Palm Beach, Florida and the exterior of restrooms line the perimeter of the first two galleries. Toward the center of the space stand Circa ’77, a contained mise en scène of a Zurich park complete with real trees and litter, and Partitions (both 1995), a spare abstraction of a peep-show booth. Each work was created as an homage to spaces that were being scrubbed of their connotations with public sex in the neoliberal era. In the back Burr’s new sculptures of rolled steel and glass, with printed images and repeated circular motifs, mine the mood of these earlier, quietly monumental objects.
Pictured: Installation view of Tom Burr’s “Circa,” 2015, at Bortolami. Courtesy Bortolami, New York.