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Alberto Burri's Roman Whites


Emily Braun

Titolo [Ita]:

Alberto Burri's Roman Whites

Title [Eng]:

Alberto Burri's Roman Whites

Data pubblicazione: 2017

Fascicolo: LVI - anno: 2017/1 - pp. 79-88

Lingua: Inglese.

DOI: 10.1400/258162

Abstract [Eng]

Beginning in 1949, while starting his career as a painter in Rome, Alberto Burri investigated the physical, material, and symbolic properties of the color white. This series, known as the Bianchi, has rarely been addressed in the literature and exhibitions on the artist, though, as this essay argues, they form a distinct avenue of research in the development of his postwar neo-realism, in which he challenged the conventions of the Western pictorial tradition. The Bianchi, with their paradoxical combination of lushness and grit, controlled elegance and randomness, redefined the modernist tradition of the monochrome – one that emphasized purity and uniformity – through techniques of craqueleure, piecemeal composition, and the incorporation of white fabrics, or biancheria. Among the most significant entities they evoked, through material realism as well as resemblance, were soiled bandages and aged walls. The Burri Whites were fundamental for his later Cretti series and left their influence on other painters such as Cy Twombly and the younger generation of monochrome artists in Rome.


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