Alberto Burri. 17 variazioni su temi proposti per una pura ideologia fonetica, by Emilio Villa. 1955
17 variazioni su temi proposti per una pura ideologia fonetica (Seventeen variations on proposed themes for a pure phonetic ideology), Burri’s first illustrated book, includes three original works: a painted cover incorporating gold leaf; a pen-and-ink drawing, also with gold leaf; and a collage made of a partially burnt fragment of fabric. Approximately 29 copies included unique variants of each of these elements; this is the only copy known to have survived intact (others were taken apart and the works sold separately). This copy was originally a gift from the artist to the Italian art historian Lionello Venturi and is inscribed as such. Trained as a doctor, Burri started working as an artist after his release from an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946. Influenced in part by Jean Fautrier, he began incorporating worn-out clothes, wood, plastic, and other nontraditional materials (including his signature burlap) into his paintings. The acquisition of this rare book strengthens the Museum’s holdings of Burri’s work (which also include one painting and seven prints), and of illustrated books in general.
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