Città di Castello, 1915 – Nice 1995
While usually associated with the Materialist current of the European movement of “Art Informel”, Burri also had ties with Lucio Fontana’s Spatialism and, alongside Antoni Tàpies, influenced the renewal of post-war Assemblage Art (Robert Rauschenberg) in America and in Europe.
After graduating from medical school in 1940, Alberto Burri was sent to fight in World War II. He was captured by Allied forces in 1943 in Tunisia and was sent to the Hereford camp in Texas, where he started painting landscapes.
His first solo exhibition took place in 1947, but he quickly developed a highly experimental practice, and from 1949, he started using burlap as a substitute for canvas. In 1951, Burri founded the ‘Origine group’ alongside Mario Balloco, Ettore Colla and Guiseppe Capogrossi, which rejected the decorative effects of abstract art and explored the reduction of colour to its most simple – yet peremptory and incisive – function, in order to return to the origins of art.
In 1952, Burri took part in the Venice Biennale, and in the following year he was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His position as the central figure of Informal Art was thus internationally established. Despite his success, the artist continued to research common, humble materials, giving life to his artistic production, which is organized in series entitled Sacchi, Combustioni, Cellotex, Legni, Plastiche, or Ferri (Bags, Combustions, Cellotex, Woods, Plastics, Irons), constituting a material meditation on form and its transformative process. Dissolved by fire, attacked by mold, corroded or consumed by time, the material of his works is “damaged” by the same artistic gesture that transfor- ms it, leaving a residual image, whose very production is illustrated in the work itself.
Burri’s work was exhibited at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1972 and then at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in New York, in 2015- 16. In 1981 the Burri Foundation – a permanent collection of the works that the artist donated to his hometown – was inaugurated. Alberto Burri died in Nice in 1995.
© Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini-Collezione Burri, Città di Castello
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris. Text by Ilaria Bignotti. B/w and colored illustrations, 63 pages, 9,6×6,8 in, French/English, 2020.
Utopia. Italian Art & Design
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris. Texts by Charles Zana and Flavia Frigeri. B/w and colored illustrations, 72 pages, 6,6×9,6 in, English, 2019.
Burri. La pittura, irriducibile presenza
exhibition catalogue edited by Bruno Corà, exhibition Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice Biennial 2019. B/w and colored illustrations, 9,4×11,8 in, Italian/English, 2019.
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art and Bruno Corà, published on the occasion of Art Basel 2018. B/w and colored illustrations, 136 pages, 11,2×12,4 in, Italian / English, 2018.
Boom. Art and Industry in 1960s Italy
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art London and Flavia Frigeri. Texts by Flavia Frigeri and Ursula Casamonti. B/w and colored illustrations, 92 pages, 11×8,2 in, English, 2018.
Il Dado è tratto. Arte contemporanea italiana oltre la tradizione
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Arte. Text by Sergio Risaliti. B/w and colored illustrations, 240 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, Italian/English, 2015.
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris and Dominique Stella. B/w and colored illustrations, 184 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, French/English and Italian/English, 2013.
Burri. Viaggio al termine della materia
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Arte and Giuliano Serafini. B/w and colored illustrations, 191 pages, 11,4×12,9 in, Italian/English/French, 2005.