BURRI Prometheia - 40th Anniversary of the Grande Nero Cretto

Lisa Rinzier and Giuseppe Sterparelli

SYMPOSIUM, PERFORMANCE, FILM SCREENINGS, MULTIMEDIA INSTALLATION

                        January 9th and 10th, 2017

 

In 2016, concluding its most extensive retrospective ever dedicate to a single artist, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum emphatically reaffirmed the critical role of Alberto Burri (1915-1995) in the arts of the second half of the 20th century, as a radical forerunner of New Dada, Nouveau Réalisme, Postminimalism, and Arte Povera.

 

Burri’s internment as prisoner of war in Texas, where he began to paint in 1946, dramatically shaped the new spatial forms of his painting and sculpture.  An even greater impact was provided by the great desert landscapes of the American West to which Burri found himself drawn after taking up winter residence in Los Angeles in 1963.

 

Burri Prometheia, a symposium organized by the Department of Italian at UCLA and the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, aims to examine the heritage of these ties in the largest work Burri ever created outside of Italy, the “Grande Cretto Nero” (Large Black Crack), on the fortieth anniversary of its gifting to UCLA.  The work bears striking witness to an intimate and monumental sublimation of the intensity of matter which the artist first noted in the cracking altarpieces of his fellow Italian, Piero della Francesca, and later in the extraordinary superstrata of California’s Death Valley. 

 

The Grande Nero Cretto, a work of colossal proportions (49 x 16 feet), composed of 700 pieces of fired ceramic transported from the artist’s home town and assembled at the UCLA Sculpture Garden, represents an uncanny fusion of the visual arts and architecture.  Its gifting to UCLA commemorates Burri’s choice to inaugurate his great American traveling exhibition of 1977 precisely at the university.  The sculpture offers imposing testimony to the artist’s choice to reside in Los Angeles during the winters of thirty years of his life.

 

CO-ORGANIZERS UCLA Department of Italian & The Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles

SPONSORS  Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri (Burri Foundation), Italy, UCLA’s Division of Humanities, College of Letters & Science, Department of Art History, and Hammer Museum

CURATORS Giuseppe Sterparelli, Thomas Harrison

Under the patronage of Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage 

Tags: 

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

Recommended

Urbino’s Renaissance legacy

Birthplace of artist Raphael, home to one of the most beautiful high Renaissance palaces in the country, UNESCO World Heritage site: you’d think the...

A Generation Removed

Author’s note: This is the first installment of a serialized story that recounts my return to Italy and my grandfather’s journey to the U.S. My...

Italy: Beauty Beyond Postcards

Italy is a country rich in culture and history that should be unveiled to the entire international public: too often tourists only end up visiting...

Looking into Italy’s soul: the many reasons the world loves Italian food

2018 will be a special year for Italy. 2018 will be the year of Italian food, as announced by Dario Franceschini, minister of Culture and Tourism,...

Be my Cicerone, guide me through Arpino

In so many ways, the Romans are ingrained in our ways of thinking. Many of our fundamental thoughts about life have been shaped and tested by the...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues