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Alberto Burri

1915 - 1995
Città di Castello, Italy

3 Works exhibited on Kooness

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Works by Alberto Burri

Alberto Burri was born in Città di Castello (Perugia) on 12 March 1915. Recognized as the artist exponent of Italian informal art, he had a dazzling career in the art scene of contemporary post-war art. After having seen the horrors of the Second World War, as a medical officer, having graduated in medicine, he returned to Italy, in those years, the passion for painting takes over and decided to leave definitively the medicine in favor of art. In Rome between 1947/48 he began to frequent the circles of contemporary art, in particular he was intellectually linked to Capogrossi, Colla and Ballocco, with whom he founded the group "Origine", with the aim of overcoming abstract academicism. Their goal is to investigate the expressive qualities of materials, this will bring him closer to the abstractionism. Among the first cycles that made him famous are those of "Muffe" (moulds), "Catrami" (tars) and "Gobbi" (hunches), where the pictorial element remains visible, being the works still built with the logic of the painting. In the 1950s, Burri's most famous works, the "Sacchi" (Sacks), took on importance. Realized with worn-out sacks of jute mixed on the canvas with red or black colours, after having come into contact with the Parisian Art Brut. Nero 1 is the painting that marks his poetic turning point. The first reaction was outrageous, but the expressive disruption, in line with the historical moment that Europe was experiencing after the Second World War, summarized with the current of existential pessimism, made them classics of art. It was then consecrated all over the world with important exhibitions in America, Europe, South America, etc. In the years that followed, other creative impulses would shift the Maestro's attention towards other materials, such as the series of "Combustioni" (burnings), "Legni"(woods) and "Ferri" (irons), where the element of fire became a creative means. In this case, the wear that marks the materials is no longer that of experience, but of an energy that has a primordial value: fire accelerates the corrosion of materials. In his poetics, therefore, the concept of "consumption" is always present. The Seventies saw the entry into the scene of the "Cretti" (cracks), here is the ground to be investigated as an element subject to deterioration. The Cretti recall arid lands, left without water, devitalized in a hypothetical futuristic vision, where life disappears from the entire cosmos. From this moment, the fame will be great and all the major galleries and foundations in the world will exhibit the works of Burri, dedicating important retrospectives. In Burri's works, the materials and their signs become art, and the wear they speaks to us of a memory and spurs us on to a series of observations on the condition of existence, of which the human being is also a part. With Burri, art has no longer become a "mimetic form" that imitates life and merely portrays it, but a real illustration of what life is through real signs left on materials as well as in the human being. Alberto Burri will die in Nice on 13 February 1995 recognized as one of the leading exponents of contemporary art in the world.