In the early 1950s, Burri made a number of works using sacking. Some included the original printing found on the sacks, acknowledging their origins as part of the relief effort for post-war Europe. The addition of red paint, reminiscent of blood, was seen as a link to the artist’s early training as a doctor. However, Burri dismissed these sombre interpretations, insisting that he strove for an art that was independent of references. He described his painting as ‘a freedom attained, constantly consolidated, vigilantly guarded’.