He was born in Città di Castello in 1915. Graduated in medicine, he began to paint in 1944. After moving to Rome, he held his first personal exhibitions at the La Margherita gallery (1947, 1948).
In 1951 he was one of the founders, with Capogrossi, Balloco, Colla, of the Origine group, exhibiting the following year at the Obelisk gallery Neri e Muffe. Starting from 1950 he began to make the famous Sacchi: old torn sacks, moldy canvases and flaps that expressed, in contrast to the elegant beauty of the chromatic variations, a dramatic physical and moral laceration. Over the years, a dense series of solo exhibitions in Italy and abroad have followed one another. Fascinated by the expressive potential of the material in the decade 1950-1960, Burri then experimented with wood, iron and burnt plastic in his works. The important anthological exhibition, works from 1948 to 1955 in 1961 in Rome, curated by Enrico Crispolti, sanctions the first historical study.
In the seventies, the progressive rarefaction of technical means led him to experiment with solutions with a monumental layout,giving life to the Cretti and Cellotex series.
In 1973 he received the Feltrinelli Award for Graphics from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
In more recent years Burri creates complex cyclical organisms with a polyphonic structure: Il Viaggio (Città di Castello, 1979, Orti (Florence, 1980), Sestante (Venice, 1983) and Annottarsi (Rome and other European cities, 1985 and 1986).
In the course of his long career, his numerous personal exhibitions are accompanied by participation in the most important national and international exhibitions (VII Quadriennale, 1955; Venice Biennale, 1958, 1960).
In 1994 he participated in the exhibition The Italian Metamorphosis 1943-1968 at the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum in New York.
He died in Nice in 1995.
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