Alberto Burri
Alberto Burri (1915-1995) was born in Città di Castello, Italy

He began his career not as an artist but as a doctor, earning a medical degree in and serving as a physician in the Italian army during World War II. Following his unit’s capture in northern Africa, he was interned in a prisoner of war camp in Hereford, Texas, in 1944, where he started to paint on the burlap that was readily at hand. After his release in 1946, Burri moved to Rome, where his first solo show was held.

Similar to many Italian artists of his generation who reacted against the politicized realism popular in the late 1940s, Burri soon turned to abstraction, becoming a proponent of Art Informel. Around 1949–50 he experimented with various unorthodox materials, fabricating tactile collages with pumice, tar, and burlap), which were initially considered assaults against the aesthetic canon.

In 1953–54, Burri garnered attention in the United States when his work was included in the group exhibition 'Younger European Painters: A Selection' at the Guggenheim Museum. In the mid 1950s Burri began burning his materials, a technique he termed combustion. In the early 1970s he embarked on his “cracked” paintings, creviced earthlike surfaces that play with notions of trompe l’oeil. In 1979 Burri turned to another industrial material, Celotex, and continued to use it throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Burri won many awards during his life including the Premio dell’Ariete, UNESCO Prize, Marzotto prize, and more.