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Alberto Burri. The Multipli at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York

Simona Zecchi (October 05, 2009)
“I only see beauty. And the beauty is only beauty and nothing else, whether it be a beautiful bag, or a beautiful piece of wood, iron or something else… Every painting I do, with whatever material, you can be sure it’s perfect for me. Perfect in form and in space. Form and space are the essential qualities that really count” Alberto Burri

In conjunction with Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò, a series of Alberto Burri graphic works is being showed at the Italian Cultural Institute. In respect to the exhibit at the Casa, this one stands out for the less aggressive allure, underlining the artist's poetical side.

On the occasion of the opening on September 24, the director of the Institute Renato Miracco, explained to us how much this event was wanted by both Casa Italiana and the IIC.
“First of all, the two institutes have been collaborating for years, hosting many artists, as we did for Morandi and Fontana, so we could offer the public different approaches by a same author, trying to bring a complete sense of their works to the United States, so their high importance would be more clear. It’s also a strategic choice concerning the logistic aspect: one institute is Uptown, the other is Downtown, and this is similar to the strategies of other great galleries of the city.

Furthermore, by hosting the lesser known works by the artist, the public is stimulated by two new and different modalities in two corners of the town.

My wish, and I believe Casa Italiana’s director Stefano Albertini’s wish as well, is to one day be able to host Burri’s works from the 1950s: we’ll try!”

The opening took place in a cheerful climate, with the special presence of some official guests such as the Consul  General of Italy in New York Francesco Maria Talò, the founder of the Casa Italiana Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò and Stefano Albertini, director of the Casa. Both of them didn’t want to miss this event, specular to the one hosted in her institute.

The Multipli, collected in a single room on the second floor of the Institute, are distinguished by the constant presence of materials. Although belonging to a similar style, these are single works, having been made in different places one from another.

An ensemble of shapes obtained on cardboard using some of the painter's favorite colors.

Antonio Sapone was also present at this inauguration as a representative of the Burri Fundation. He talked about the more human aspect of the artist: his life sheltered from the hue and cry, in his dearest refuge where – although distant from the important artistic centers such as Rome, Venice or Milan – he managed to express himself and find inspiration.

Concerning the artist’s conception of art, as he himself pointed out, the shape and the space of the materials he used to create these works represent true beauty as he intended it. An homage to life – we could say – container of all shapes.

(Traslated by Julian Sachs)