By torturing these materials, Burri seeks to give the illusion of a swollen flesh. His approach is positive: man can not defeat such horrors if he is unable to face them, in details, objectively.
In his time, the artistic quest of Burri is unique. His use of fire anticipates Klein, the creation of forms through the use of chance comes before the achrome plaster casts by Manzoni and his trivial materials will inspire the arte povera.
The fire comes to alter a thin surface layer on a support that can be canvas or wood. The work is then finished with paint.
On 11 February 2014, Christie's sold for £ 4.7 million including premium a Combustione plastica 130 x 150 cm made in 1960-1961 in plastic, combustion and acrylic on canvas.
On October 15 in London, Sotheby's sells Bianco plastica 1, lot 14 estimated £ 1.5M, made in 1961 in plastic, combustion and tempera on faesite which is an Italian variant of masonite. Its size, 75 x 100 cm, enables to focus the attention on the circular corruptions that appear less dispersed than on the larger Combustione discussed above.
The intention of this artist to act as a healer makes no doubt. A quarter century later, he will restore some life to a Sicilian village destroyed by an earthquake by covering it with a cement dug with trenches on the site of the earlier streets in which tourists may walk again.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Sotheby's, rightly insisting on the fact that the work for sale was owned for more than 30 years by Dr. Passaré, a Milanese doctor who was a friend of Italian artists.
SOLD for £ 2.63M including premium