Sotheby's NY to offer Alberto Burri's monumental 'Nero Plastica L.A.

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Sotheby's NY to offer Alberto Burri's monumental 'Nero Plastica L.A.
Alberto Burri, Nero Plastica L.A., 1963. Estimate upon request. © 2017 Estate of Alberto Burri/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 16 November will feature Alberto Burri’s revolutionary Nero Plastica L.A. Hailing from the artist’s sought-after Nero Plastica series and highlighted at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s acclaimed 2016 retrospective, Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting, this monumental work is one of the most important plastic reliefs to appear at auction.

Grégoire Billault, Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s New York, noted: “None of us who saw the Burri retrospective at the Guggenheim last year could fail to be moved by the explosive energy of Nero Plastica L.A. The perfect undulating rhythm of its monumental surface stands as one of the boldest expressions of 1960s abstraction that is as striking today as it was when it was unveiled to the world nearly 55 years ago.”

A surgeon by training who volunteered for the military and was captured by Allied troops during World War II, Alberto Burri’s 1946 return to Italy precipitated a momentous change. Faced with the horrors of war – buildings charred and destroyed beyond recognition, thousands of homeless and starving people – he turned to painting and sculpture, cultivating a passion he discovered while imprisoned into a full profession. With these post-war concepts fresh in mind, Burri began experimenting with the unpredictability and devastation of fire and plastic in 1957, fully conceptualizing the theme in 1960 with his Nero Plastica series. For the next five years, he focused his creative energy upon the manipulation of surface, the sensuality of texture and the balance of composition in a way that challenged preconceptions of painting, and thrilled art enthusiasts around the world.

Rarity and scale enhance the coveted status of Nero Plastica. The sale of the present work, Nero Plastica L.A., not only marks its auction debut, but also the unveiling of the largest work from the series ever to come to market. There exist only six other examples of comparably large-scale examples of Nero Plastica, with all but one either in or promised to renowned international museums – Galleria Nazionale d’Arte, Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini collezione Burri, Collezione dei Premi Marzotto and the Museum of Modern Art – making the offering of Nero Plastica L.A. this November an undeniably rare and extraordinary opportunity for collectors.

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Sotheby's NY to offer Alberto Burri's monumental 'Nero Plastica L.A.

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