BURRI at GUGGENHEIM:
I WAS THERE. by Elisa Mambrini
It could only be New York’s Guggenheim Museum - the best setting in which to honour the name of Alberto Burri overseas, for the celebrations of the centenary of his birth. The Trauma of Painting promises to be the largest and most comprehensive retrospective of the artist in the United States. I was lucky enough to participate at the opening of the exhibition, at which the excitement is heightened by being faced with one of the world’s most beautiful museums of contemporary art; not only for its contents but for its wonderful architecture; white swirls stretching into the sky in a perfect spiral. Though small amongst the skyscrapers but immense in its beauty, the museum is the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, icon and master of contemporary architecture. This alone would be enough to make you feel proud. Our ‘family’ heritage, (even before the artistic and cultural one), is in there and will be on show until 6th January next year. The name of Burri on the rotunda, black on white, seems to anticipate the elegant presentation of the exhibition. It’s a slow and well-articulated succession of works, many of which
are unknown to us in the Tiber Valley, as they belong to private collections and galleries. They come not only from Italy or Europe, but also from the United States where, at the beginning of the Fifties, the young Burri exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, obtaining immediate recognition. Perhaps this is why the works seem so well suited to this New York context, as if they had always been here, or as if Americans had always known him. There are 100 of his pieces on display from the Tars, Moulds, Gobbi (hunchbacks), Whites, Woods, Irons, Plastic Combustions, Cretti and Cellotex series of works. In one room you can watch a screening of a documentary special on Cretto Gibellina and throughout the exhibition you can sit on huge cushions to achieve, along with museum staff, little combustioni and sacchi. It’s a comprehensive review, covering the artist’s entire career and all the types of media he used. It’s an exhibition of materials and feelings, of both the European post-war and artist’s personal traumas, but also of the immediacy of viewers’ emotions. Emotions like transparent plastic, at times white like garments, or hot like wood. It’s a ‘meta-contemporary’ exhibition, which from its contents seems current designed for today; an exhibition that should make us proud to be Tifernate* and to show the world our most beautiful masterpiece Maestro Alberto Burri. *Those who live in the Upper Tiber Valley
In periodi difficili come questi in cui il clima internazionale torna a minare il già poco quieto vivere, alimenta isterismi su isterismi, p...