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Alberto Burri
at Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, California
Recommendation Jody Zellen


Alberto Burri, 'Composition,' 1953, oil, gold paint and glue on burlap and canvas, 33 7/8 x 39 1/2'

Continuing through December 18, 2010

Alberto Burri was an Italian born abstract painter who spent a considerable amount of time in Los Angeles. His work utilized what at the time were highly unorthodox materials. Not just the way Burri used burlap, tar, pumice and more but the mere fact that he used them in the service of art at all was new and innovative. Purposefully clunky, the pieces have a formal beauty and an elegance that defies their materiality. Burri was born in Italy in 1915 passed away in 1995, and remains under-recognized in the United States. This exhibition surveys works made from 1951 to 1990, including numerous pieces made while he was living in Los Angeles. Burri drew inspiration from numerous genres: Arte Povera, Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism. Yet he cannot be identified with any one of them, as the more that 60 works here testify.

Santa Monica Museum of Art

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

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