Comments on: Alberto Burri: Form and Matter Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 By: Luke Elwes Mon, 19 Mar 2012 19:09:39 +0000 When you look at Burri’s work in the flesh (and specifically the work from the 1950s to the 1970s), you are above all struck by its embodied materiality. Up close you can see how the material (even without its suggestive associations) is stretched, stitched, and grafted onto the body of the picture. It is not the formal relationships within the picture which hold your gaze; apart perhaps from the Tate picture (‘Sacking and Red’, 1954), the spatial composition, the arrangement of form and colour, is fairly rudimentary and is secondary to the surface itself, its textures, patinas and abrasions.
These facets are largely lost in reproduction, through which the image may indeed appear ‘undemonstrative and inherently uninteresting’. I would suggest however that, on encountering their physical presence in this show, it is difficult not to regard these tactile surfaces as skin (wounded, punctured and cracked), even if the artist himself denied such a correlation. In this they share much in common with the rough corporeal matter of Tapies’ work (even if his was evidently more symbolically loaded than Burri’s) during the same period.