Black that first becomes light, in its thousands of nuances, and then tangible, palpable matter.
An exhibition that frees black from absence, and light from insubstantiality.
“La Luce del Nero” (The Light of Black), curated by Bruno Corà at the former Tobacco Dryhouses, tells of Burri’s many blacks, together with those of numerous artists including Kounellis, Fontana, Isgrò and Tapies. An exhibition, realised within the framework of the Creative Europe programme, conceived with the intention of making contemporary art accessible to the visually impaired public through the “Beam Up” project: the typhlodidactic models on display, in fact, allow visitors to tactilely experience the works on show, and their consistency.
Experiencing the softness of plastic stretched by fire, the stitching of sacks and the roughness of jute, the roughness of cellotex, the warmth of wood and the coldness of irons, passing through the roughness and wrinkledness of air-dried vinyl mixtures: an experience necessary for everyone to fully get to know the works and their materials.
And along with haptic perception, black. Never the same, like light. The black of Burri, of the cracks, of the irons, of the graphic works. The same black that the artist uses to paint the entire exterior of the majestic complex of the former Tobacco Dryhouses in Città di Castello, contrasting it with the green in which it is immersed. The same black of Annottarsi, a cycle of 20 silkscreens, which once again testifies to Burri’s love for colour in the exhibition. Vittorio Rubiu wrote in the exhibition catalogue Burri, Venti sergrafie “It is a black, his, that is never identical, it changes shape, size, creates the space of the painting. It is a black that passing from glossy to matt is as if it changed colour, because matt also has its own light, and perhaps this is precisely why it has such a fair opacity, such a ready receptivity.”
And then the black that becomes space in Fontana’s cuts, in Enrico Castellani’s surfaces, in Luise Nevelson’s assemblages. The black of Kounellis’s charcoal, as organic matter that narrates life, as Parmiggiani’s soot to imprint the negative of objects on canvas. The black of Isgrò’s erasures, which denies and narrates at the same time.
And finally, the black of poetry: ‘The room is silent of all light. I write in the darkness. I trace my signs in the night that is solid… I learn a new art” (G. d’Annunzio, Notturno, 1921)
La luce del nero, curated by Bruno Corà, Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini, 13.04 – 13.11. 2022
images: (cover1) Alberto Burri, «Combustione Legno», 1955, wood, vinavil, burning on canvas, 88,5 x 160 cm (2) Jannis Kounellis, «Senza titolo», 1967, 100 x 100 cm