Alberto Burri

Alberto Burri (Città di Castello 1915-Nizza 1995)

He graduated from medical school in 1940 and in the same year was called to arms as a combat medic. In 1943 he was taken prisoner by the British in Tunisia and sent to an American camp in Texas. During this time, Burri decided to abandon the medical profession to devote himself to art. He returned to Italy, to Rome, in 1946 and devoted himself entirely to painting. In 1947 he had his first solo exhibition at Galleria La Margherita in Rome; the works shown in this exhibition were still figurative in nature. In the same gallery, the following year, he offered abstract works for the first time in his second solo exhibition. After a trip in late 1948 to Paris, Burri began to paint abstractly using unconventional materials. In the following years, beginning in 1950, after the Catrami (1948-49), he made the Sacchi and began to experiment with different types of materials. In the 1950s he explores Combustions, Woods and Irons, while in the 1960s he works on Transparent Plastics, using fire as a fundamental element. In the 1970s, he works on a progressive simplification of the formal aspects of his painting with the Cretti and Cellotex and, at the end of the decade, he starts some large-scale pictorial cycles with polychrome structure. In 1984, in Gibellina, Burri made Grande Cretto, also known as Cretto di Gibellina, a monumental work that stands on about 8,000 square meters of rubble from the old town in the province of Trapani. Between 1991 and 1993 the artist made his last major cycles, including Metamorfotex and Nero e Oro.

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