Experimental energy and cutting edge forms infiltrate both artists’ practices, featured in the new lecture from Irina Kulik’s cycle.
During World War II, Italian army physician Alberto Burri (1915–1995) was captured by the British and transported to the US, where he soon decided to quit medicine in favor of a creative career. Upon his return to Italy in 1946, he devoted himself entirely to arts and ultimately gained huge success working with painting, graphic and printing techniques, sculpture, and stage designs. The use of inexpensive natural and industrial materials; interest in space and environment as essential elements of an art piece; simple, often geometric forms; seriality, playful and intellectual strategies—those were the aspects that informed Burri’s practice at different stages of his career, linking his name to some of the key trends in postwar art, including such movements as arte povera and land art, neo-Dada and postminimalism, as well as diverse conceptual endeavors.
Bruce Conner (1933–2008) was an American artist whose practice can be characterized by a significant variety of mediums and techniques. His paintings and graphic works, photography, video and film, as well as collages and assemblages, created over a five-decade period, often preceded their time by offering vanguard aesthetic ideas. One of the pioneering experimental film directors to become famous in underground circles in the mid-twentieth century, later on Conner was closely associated with the Californian punk scene, which emerged in the 1970s and blossomed in the 1980s. He continued to work creatively until his death, providing a great impact on a plethora of artists who practice worldwide today. A comprehensive survey of his oeuvre has been recently on display at SFMoMA (Bruce Conner: It’s All True, October 29, 2016 – January 22, 2017).