From 02 October 1991 to 01 December 1991
Curated by Ida Gianelli
Alberto Burri (Città di Castello, Perugia, Italy, 1915 – Nice, France, 1995) began his artistic career in 1943 when, while serving in the army as a medical officer, he was captured by the British forces in North Africa and sent to a concentration camp in Hereford, Texas, USA, where he started painting vivid-coloured landscapes. When he returned to Italy he became a professional artist, choosing a radically abstract mode of expression. During the course of his career Burri worked with a variety of mixed media – both natural and man-made – including wood, plastic, iron and, from 1949 onwards, torn sackcloth, which he used as a substitute for painting. Burri quickly attained international recognition for his work, and is now regarded as one of the masters of post-war Italian art.
This exhibition presented a series of 20 large-scale works made by the artist between 1984 and 1986 using Celotex, a smooth, light-coloured brand of wooden chipboard that he painted in black, white, red and blue, creating erotic-looking primordial figures and shapes that symbolised life and death. The paintings, which recall wounds and tears, become vectors of the underlying, inexhaustible energy that pulsates through all of Burri’s art.