ACTION | ABSTRUCTION: Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana

8 Feb 2019 – 30 Mar 2019

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Tornabuoni Art London explores the work of Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana


This exhibition sets out to recapture one of the most dramatic periods of Post-War art in Italy. The selection of works by the avant-garde artists Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana will shed light on how the trauma and destruction of two world wars spurred these artists to reject representation and to return to primordial forms of communication through material and gesture – in Fontana’s case, through a simple but supremely effective piercing of the canvas surface and, in Burri’s case, a radical and sometimes violent reimagining of the expressive potential of traditionally ‘non-artistic’ materials. The show will shine a light on the correspondences and convergences between these artists who, despite their vastly differing aesthetics, now stand together as luminaries of material- based abstraction and an inspiration to an entire generation of artists who grew up in their shadow. Tornabuoni Art will explore their work in a tightly curated selection of highlights on display in the London gallery.

Both artists are being honoured with institutional exhibitions this year. The Metropolitan Museum in New York is staging a survey show of Lucio Fontana’s work (23 January - 14 April) to which Tornabuoni Art has loaned works.

Meanwhile, the Fondazione Alberto Burri and Venice’s Fondazione Giorgio Cini, with the collaboration of Tornabuoni Art, are staging a museum quality survey of Burri’s work to coincide with the Venice Biennale. This exhibition will include rarely-seen works as well as a new scholarly catalogue. This will be the culmination of Tornabuoni Art’s year-long cultural programme dedicated to Burri and designed to further the public’s understanding of his work, which has included a scholarly catalogue devoted to the artists’ Plastiche series and a survey show at Tornabuoni Art’s Paris space in the autumn of 2018.

The legacy of Alberto Burri will also be explored in a conference at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, on 7th March, moderated by Tim Marlow, Director of Programmes at the RA, and with professor Bruno Corà, President of the Alberto Burri Foundation; professor Luca Massimo Barbero, Director of the Art History Institute at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini; and professor Bernard Blistène, Director of the Centre Pompidou.

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