Marshall Plan Modernism: Italian Postwar Abstraction and the Beginnings of Autonomia
Alberto Burri’s Plastics and the Political Aesthetics of Opacity
In 1955, Alberto Burri began using a new material: polyvinyl acetate, a type of plastic frequently used for binding purposes (in glues, for example, or for book binding). It did not become interchangeable among the other materials with which Burri experimented but precipitated a specific procedural economy: irrevocable violence. In 1944, while interred in Texas a prisoner of war, after his capture during service in the Italian army in North Africa, Burri had started to make art works by painting on and stitching together burlap sacks. This aesthetic decision was motivated by the situation: they were the only available material...