Catalogue entry

Alberto Burri born 1915 [- 1995]

T00787 Sacking and Red 1954

Inscribed 'Burri 54' on back of canvas
Sacking, glue and plastic paint (vinyl) on canvas, 34 x 39 1/2 (86 x 100)
Purchased from Marlborough Fine Art (Grant-in-Aid) 1965
Prov: With Stable Gallery, New York (purchased from the artist 1955); with Galleria Pogliani, Rome; with Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Rome
Exh: Burri, Stable Gallery, New York, May-June 1955 (no catalogue); 2° Mostra Mercato Nazionale d'Arte Contemporanea, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, March-April 1964 (not in catalogue); Plastiche di Burri, Galleria d'Arte 'La Bussola', Turin, January 1965 (1); Summer 1965, Marlborough Fine Art, London, July-August 1965 (11); Alberto Burri, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, October-December 1971 (28, repr.); Alberto Burri, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, May-July 1972 (22, repr.)
Lit: Cesare Brandi, Burri (Rome 1963), No.162, p.200, repr.
Repr: Vittorio Rubiu, Alberto Burri (Turin 1975), pl.22; Terry Measham, The Moderns 1945-1975 (Oxford 1976), pl.20 in colour

Burri made several paintings in 1954 combining sacking with a large area of red. The making of what was apparently the first of these in the summer of 1954 is described in detail by Milton Gendel in 'Burri makes a Picture', Art News, LIII, December 1954, p.28 ff. Burri said to Gendel of this picture, which is fairly similar to the one at the Tate: 'I have worked with a big red space that is expanding forward and in all directions. With the other elements it is involved in a whole chain of pulls and tensions. But this is only the architectonic structure. For the rest I have nothing to add.'

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.87, reproduced p.87