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Burri, Alberto

Artist Self-taught as an artist, Burri’s early experiences as a doctor, handling blood-stained bandages and sewing up wounds on the Italian front in North Africa during the Second World War, provided the inspiration for much of his later work. Burri began his artistic activity during his period as a prisoner of war in Texas and his works display a fascination with surface texture and use different media such as torn sacking, charred wood, iron plates and plastic sheets with gaping holes burnt by a blowtorch. Fissures, like coagulated streams of lava, and bubbling irruptions or ‘wounds’ are the predominant features of a later major series of works in Cellotex (a compound derived from cellulose). Burri’s work reflects the philosophy of the Informale movement and it also has strong links to the work of Spanish artist Antoni Tapies. Today, a foundation which exhibits and documents Burri’s work is located in his birthplace of Città di Castello.