On his 100th birth anniversary, Ierimonti Gallery is pleased to present “Alberto Burri: The Subject of Matter.” The exhibition features some of the artist’s most representative works including Sacchi (sacks), Combustioni (combustions), Muffe (molds), Cretti, Cellotex, and, at last, his series of mixed media gathered in the “Book of Sappho” (which was later reproduced in the homonymous lithographs).
As a corollary of the unique works, the exhibition will propose the artist’s intense and innovative work in the field of print, using the techniques of etching, aquatint, dry point and screen printing.
The exhibition aims to shed light on an artist who has succeeded in bringing life into art through the sublimation of matter. Poor materials, such as torn and stitched sacking, wood, metal, tar and plastics, become substantial in Burri’s hands. Painting is finally freed from the subject and its form.
“If I don’t have a material, I use another one. It is all the same. I choose to use poor materials to prove that they could still be useful. The poorness of a medium is not a symbol: it is a device for painting.”
The idea of consumption is always central to the artist’s poetry: in the sacks, torn and mended; in the combustions, where Burri shapes and corrodes the matter with his fire brush accelerating its decay; in the cretti, where the concept of consumption reaches its peak. The cretti, made of kaolin, vinyl glue and pigment on cellotex, are a metaphor for a land impoverished of its sap: a residual body of an emptied life. Since the Seventies, the artist will work on panels forged on the basis of compressed materials for industrial use - the "Cellotex" – on which he painted creating large fields of color.
Sensuality is also part of Burri’s work as shown by the ten lithographs that illustrate Sappho’s poems. In this series, accompanied by the texts of the poet, the writing shuns from the image from which is inescapably attracted. The form, on the other hand, refers to the archetype of sensuality, Eros, who invents a maze of desire that no one can escape.
Since the Fifties, Burri expanded his production through the graphic work. The transposition on paper of combustions, made without flame, unsettles the traditional techniques of etching and aquatint, while the colored serigraphs become real color epiphanies.
Opening Reception: Friday October 2, 2015 - 6-8 pm
For press images and inquiries please contact:
Christian Piscitelli | Director
+1 212 581 1619