Alberto Burri: Form and Matter

Alberto Burri, Sacking and Red, 1954, Photograph: Tate, London © Fondazione Pala
Alberto Burri, Sacking and Red, 1954, Photograph: Tate, London © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini, Collezione Burri, Città di Castello, 2012

Laura Cumming reviews the exhibition Alberto Burri: Form and Matter at Estorick Collection, London, on view through April 7, 2012.

Cumming writes that "Although the earliest works in this show are figurative – a melancholy bookseller, a melancholy fish out of water – Burri, along with many Italian artists of his generation who reacted against the politicised realism of the 40s, soon turned to abstraction. Tiny tempera landscapes of his native Italy conflate hints of Miró and Klee, though with strong local overtones that keep coming through even in the vast, two- and three-metre abstracts of the later years in which the raw earth seems to rake and mound in the claggy painted surface."