Alberto Burri was born in Città del Castello in 1915.
After studying medicine for years, in 1940 he enrolled in the Italian army. In 1943 he was taken prisoner in the US, and interned in the Hereford camp in Texas. Released at the end of World War Two, he decided to move to Rome, abandoning medicine to devote himself to painting. He began his artistic oeuvre with baroque collages of raw materials, which clearly expressed the post-war feelings and tensions in Italy.
Burri’s production since then is characterised by the use of alternative materials and techniques as containers and mediums of elaboration of his metaphors. Famous are his canvases made of sewn together pieces of fabric, of very diverse kind, coming from bags, sacks or even tea towels, all marked somehow with deep scars or red spots. Burri also made use of materials such as metal, wood, burnt plastic, lime, tar and jute cloth.
A supporter of informal and material art, in the 80s, Burri dedicated himself to new series: “Cellotex” or “Resine,” at the same time creating important graphic work composed of engravings and lithographs.
In 1985, he gave form to what is now considered one of the most important examples of Land Art: he lay a sheet of white lime on the ruins of Gibellina Vecchia, a Sicilian city destroyed by the earthquake of 1968. He will later create monumental sculptures in patinated steel.
Alberto Burri passed away in France in 1995.