Alberto Burri (1951-1995), with his paintings and sculptures, has been a major influencer of the Post-War art scene and, in particular, of artistic movements such as Nouveau Réalisme and Arte Povera. In 1955, when asked to make a statement on his art, he said, “Words are no help to me when I try to speak about my painting. It is an irreducible presence that refuses to be converted into any other form of expression.”
For this reason, the phrase ‘irreducible presence’ has been chosen by the president of Fondazione Burri Bruno Corà as the title of the exhibition of Burri’s work that he curated and that will be open on show at the Fondazione Cini in Venice until July 28.
‘BURRI la pittura, irriducibile presenza’, organized with the Fondazione Burri in collaboration with Tornabuoni Art and Paola Sapone, is a career survey of about 50 works, including some never before lent by the Fondazione Burri. The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to chronologically retrace the most important stages of Burri’s artistic career through a selection of his most significant series: from the rare ‘Catrami’, ‘Muffe’ and the monumental ‘Sacchi’, to ‘Combustions’, ‘Woods’, ‘Plastics’, the extraordinary ‘Cretti’, and ‘Celotex’, the last stage of the artistic research of the Umbrian master from Città di Castello (Perugia). The reading of his artistic career continues, in a multimedia documentary section, through the projection of some rare videos that portray him in action.
Burri’s last exhibition in Venice was in 1983 when he characteristically chose the remote and industrial spaces of the former Cantieri Navali (shipyards) on the island of Giudecca to install 17 paintings and one sculpture, all titled ‘Sextant’. These which are now displayed, together with 128 of his most monumental productions, in his hometown in the vast sheds, originally built to dry the tobacco of the local plantations, that the artists turned in his last and largest studio and that today house the Fondazione Burri.
Ilona Catani Scarlett