Alberto Burri  (Italian, 1915-1995) 

Alberto Burri (Italian, 1915–1995) is one of the most prominent Italian Abstract painters of the 20th century. Beginning his career as a doctor rather than an artist, Burri earned a medical degree at the University of Perugia in 1940, and then worked as a physician during World War II. He was imprisoned with his captured unit at a prisoner-of-war camp in Texas, where he painted on burlap. After his release in 1946, he moved to Rome to become an artist. Like many Italian artists working in the late 1940s, Burri turned away from the politicized realism popular at the time, and towards abstraction, becoming a proponent of Art Informel. He subsequently experimented with various unorthodox materials, producing textured collages with pumice, tar, and burlap in order to break with the traditional two-dimensional surface. Beginning in the mid-1950s, Burri burned his mediums in a technique he called “combustion”; he also started to burn plastic works in the early 1960s. In the early 1970s, Burri began his “cracked” paintings series, creating works with creviced surfaces resembling chipped soil that explore the illusionistic properties of painting. In the late 1970s, Burri turned to another industrial material, Cellotex, and continued to use it in his work for the next few decades. Burri’s use of materials such as nails, burlap, or tar in his work, and his breaking, burning, and assemblage techniques reflect on his early experiences at war and his interpretation of Art Informel aesthetics. His work has been shown internationally in group exhibitions and at several shows at the Venice Biennale and documenta in Kassel. Several successful retrospectives of his work have been presented at institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris. One year before his death in Nice, France in 1995, Alberto Burri received the Italian Order of Merit.

Find Alberto Burri artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
envelope Get email alerts about this artist!  
Artworks for sale (5)
In Art Galleries (5)
Dealers selling (6)
Dealers Buying (1)

Sold Artworks
In Recent Auctions (2)
In Past Auctions (706)

Exhibitions (4)
Auctions (3)

artnet Magazine
Articles (9)

More Information
artnet Analytics Reports
Market Reports
* paid service

Artworks for sale (5)

Alberto Burri, Exhibition view  Galleria dello Scudo


Alberto Burri
Exhibition view
Galleria dello Scudo


Galleria dello Scudo
Alberto Burri, Mixoblack 1


Alberto Burri
Mixoblack 1

Mixografia ®
Alberto Burri, Mixoblack 10


Alberto Burri
Mixoblack 10

Mixografia ®
Alberto Burri, Untitled (Valentine’s Card)


Alberto Burri
Untitled (Valentine’s Card)

Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Alberto Burri, Sacco (Technique Mixte)


Alberto Burri
Sacco (Technique Mixte)

Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Past auction results (706)  View All
Alberto Burri, I Bianco e Nero


Alberto Burri
I Bianco e Nero, 1971
lithograph w/acetate elements


View Details
Alberto Burri, Bianchi e Neri I


Alberto Burri
Bianchi e Neri I, 1967-1968
lithograph w/acetate elements and embossing


View Details
Alberto Burri, Trittico B, 1-3 (set of 3 works)


Alberto Burri
Trittico B, 1-3 (set of 3 works), 1973-1976
color screenprints


View Details

1915   Born March 12 in Città di Castello, Italy
1940   Earned his medical degree in 1940 from the University of Perugia and served as a physician during World War II
1944   Following his unit’s capture in northern Africa, he was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp in Hereford, Texas where he started to paint on the burlap that was at hand
1946   Released from camp and moved to Rome, where his first solo show was held at the Galleria La Margherita the following year
1949 - 1950   Experimented with various unorthodox materials, fabricating tactile collages with pumice, tar, and burlap
1953   Gained attention in the United States: his work was included in the group exhibition Younger European Painters at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and was shown as well at the Frumkin Gallery, Chicago, and the Stable Gallery, New York
1959   Won the Premio dell’Ariete in Milan and the UNESCO Prize at the São Paulo Bienal
1977   Retrospective of work inaugurated at the University of California’s Frederick S. Wight Gallery, Los Angeles
1994   Presented Italian Order of Merit
1995   Died February 15 in Nice, France
1999   Omaggio a Alberto Burri-Grafica e Scultura, Comune di Colonnella, Teramo, Italy
1996 - 1997   Palazzo del Esposizioni, Rome, Italy; Städtische Galerie, Munich, Germany; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
1995   Alberto Burri mostra omaggio, Galleria II Segno, Rome, Italy
1990   Perielio: Burri-Saffo, Italian Cultural Institute, Athens, Greece
1988   Alberto Burri graphics, M. Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1985   Burri, Combustioni, Cretti, Cellotex 1974-1984, Galerie Artcurial, Paris, France
1980   Alberto Burri, Il Viaggio, Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich, Germany
1979   Alberto Burri 1978-1979, J. Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1977 - 1978   (retrospective) University of California’s Frederick S. Wight Gallery, Los Angeles, California; Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
1977   Galleria 2RC, Milan-Rome, Italy
1972   (Retrospective) Musée National d’ Art Moderne, Paris
1967   Kunsthalle, Darmstadt, Germany
1963 - 1964   (Retrospective), The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, California; Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California
1962   Marlborough Galleria, Rome
1960   Hanover Gallery, London, England
1959   Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
1958   Galleria Blu, Milan, Italy
1957   Galleria dell’Obelisco, Rome, Italy
1955   The Stable Gallery, New York
1952   Galleria d’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy
1948   Galleria dell’Angelo, Città di Castello, Italy
1947   Galleria La Margherita, Rome, Italy