Starting on 7 October 2022, an important exhibition curated by Ilaria Bignotti is on the agenda at CUBO, which will return to the public, after a prolonged absence, one of the most significant works of Alberto Burri's “Sacchi" [“Sacks"]: Nero con punti (1958).
Part of the Unipol Group’s Artistic Heritage, this masterpiece, from the “Sacchi” series, is back on display after two years of analysis, research and restoration performed by Muriel Vervat in collaboration with the Institute of Heritage Science and the “Nello Carrara” Institute of Applied Physics, both part of the Italian National Research Council in Florence. The complex and delicate operation, carried out using innovative, green bio-restoration techniques, constitutes the heart of exhibition project in Porta Europa and provides an in-depth look at some of the practices of art conservation through videos and expert talks.
The exhibition relies on the collaboration of the prestigious Tornabuoni Arte gallery for the loan of four works by the Umbrian master which will be placed in dialogue with Nero con punti and on display at CUBO in Torre Unipol.
“An exhibition of discoveries starting from the monumental work in black; discoveries that continue in Torre Unipol with four other emblematic works – highlights the curator Ilaria Bignotti. Two of these belong to the Catrami cycle, both dated 1950, and were selected, in the exhibition itinerary, due to the dialogue that they weave with Nero con punti, starting from the problem of the stratification and composition of materials. It is again black quintessentially massacred by whitish material stratifications, in the work Muffa (1951), which reiterates the battle between confusion and composition; in the work from the next year Untitled (1952), here is the sack, together with sand, Vinavil glue, a collage of still other materials trying to sew the field, to reimpose order between the mysteries of the material that Burri so skilfully sews and weaves, manipulates and inflames".
The occasion of the return to the general public of this extraordinary work becomes a springboard for reflecting on approaches to the restoration, conservation and refurbishment of a masterpiece from the second half of the twentieth century, and at the same time for once again interpreting, using the keyword of material and its inescapable exposure to time, space, transformation and alteration, some of the crucial themes of Burri's poetics which also dramatically and visionarily become emblems for reflecting on our time.
“A journey from restoration to the public, from memory to the future, from the uniqueness of an extraordinary pictorial experience to the sharing arising from the marriage of our eyes, on, in and around Alberto Burri's great, monumental work in black." (from the critical text in the catalogue by Ilaria Bignotti).
For the images: Palazzo Albizzini Foundation-Burri Collection, Città di Castello © 2022.