Alberto Burri

Weeks pass by in a frenetic rush. I try to manage my time and yet I feel as the amount of work never reduces a bit.
Anyway, this week I’ve been looking at Alberto Burri’s work as I feel that some of his art-works (produced between 1952-54) are pertinent to my research pat.

Alberto Burri was born in Città di Castello, Italy, the 12nd of March 1915. He was a doctor and fought for the Italian army in Tunisia where he was taken as a prisoner by the Anglo-American force and sent to Hereford in Texas (Source: editaliarte.it). He spent around 3 years in a labour camp and came back to Italy in 1946. Once back, he settled in Roma and dedicated his life to art [All the biographical information were taken from editaliare.it, see reference list at the bottom].

In order to understand his art, it is necessary to know at least this part of his life as it will caracterize almost his entire future production.
What I was looking at is the way he used rough material in a series of works called “Sacchi”.

The reason why I think his works are related to my research is because, apart form using the same materials, he tries to catch the observer attention using not only the sight but also the tactile perception.
To be more precise, I would say that, with this series of works, he succeeded to combine sight and touch. The viewer is not supposed to touch the work in order to feel the emotion; there is no need to touch as he already knows the feeling because the impression of it is stuck in his memory.
We all have memory of this kind of perception and it’s easy to recall the feeling of touching a jute canvas. Therefore, the observer is loaded with an emotional charge just with a glance. This is possible thanks to some mental connections.
When I saw one of this pieces, I was overwelmed by an incredible amount of emotions. I felt sorrow, poverty, suffer etc. I thought about labour and hard work, I thought about soil and dust, I felt arid and powerless.
All this work are deeply connected with the haptic research I’m conducting.
How is tactility related to sight? How does the observer feel when he sees rough materials? What kind of emotion/ideas are related to them?

This is only my point of view but I felt it was relevant to my studies. Burri elevated the poor materials to the highest level. In his works the substances are the subjects (Source: Barbarainwonderlart). Poor materials become art and express feeling of sorrow and struggle through mental connection.

Alberto Burri, 1954, Sacking, painting: acrylic paint and hessian on canvas, 864 x 1003 mm, Tate Modern, London. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello (Perugia) / DACS 2015.

Alberto Burri, 1954, Sacking, painting:
acrylic paint and hessian on canvas, 864 x 1003 mm, Tate Modern, London.
© Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello (Perugia) / DACS 2015.

Alberto Burri, 1952, Grande sacco, acrylic color jute/canvas on a frame, 150x250 cm, Gnam Museum, Rome.

Alberto Burri, 1952, Grande sacco, acrylic color jute/canvas on a frame, 150×250 cm, Gnam Museum, Rome.

References list:

Barbara Meletto (31 March 2014) Barbarainwonderlart [Online] Available from:http://barbarainwonderlart.com/2014/03/31/alberto-burri-larte-nel-sacco/.  [Accessed: 28 October 2015]

Editaliarte, Editalia: Gruppo Istituto Poligrafico E Zecca Dello Stato [Online] Available from: http://www.editaliarte.it/alberto-burri/108/162/ . [Accessed: 30 October 2015]

Gnam, Galleria Nazionale D’arte Moderna [Online] Available from:  http://www.gnam.beniculturali.it/index.php?it/23/gli-artisti-e-le-opere/93/grande-sacco. [Accessed: 28 October 2015]

La giostra, La giostra [Online] Available from: http://www.lagiostra.biz/node/709. [Accessed: 28 October 2015]

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