Bruno Corà, art critic and president of The Foundation Albizzini Collezione Burri in Città di Castello in Umbria, Italy, reveals for the first time the critical methods he utilises in the identification of the works and the artists for which he has a preference, sharing a selection of 10 favourite works with Selections.
“Vedo dove devo – I see where I must.” This short sentence is what remains of an early poetic composition of mine, from which I deliberately deleted all other stanzas just after writing it. In Italian, this expression is the result of an anagram in which the two verbs and the adverb are composed of the same letters, therefore constituting an extremely effective literary construction. To me, this means that the act of seeing is magically led to its destination by a force that is at the same time attractive and exclusionary. To me, the act of seeing is not equivalent to the act of looking, because often there is nothing to look at. However, seeing is an essential faculty. Like a mantra, I merge it with my breathing, repeating it to keep it within myself, keeping it active and alert. As a consequence, my encounter with works of art is random, but at the same time absolutely disciplined. My attitude is that those who abandon themselves to the wellspring of epiphanies, wherever they may come from, are pandering, when they do occur, to natural premonitory – and, in a sense, dowsing – faculties. Over time, I recognised these precognisant works, among others, and these artists – not without risk. By that I mean lying, while knowing how to tell the truth.
Jean Boghossian, Untitled, 2015. Burning a book arouses all the ambiguity of drama. To reduce pages to ashes seems to profane knowledge and wisdom; in fact, through the act of burning, this artist gives a supratemporal form to a book, thus allowing it to rise to a new life, the life of a work of art that belongs to our time.
Giulio Paolini, Geometric design, 1960. The surface is measured and plotted with signs that predispose it to accommodating one or endless successive images. It is a cornerstone of the artist’s conceptual reflection on the ways and means to generate the prodigy of creation.
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 1967. This piece is made of a hundred kilos of coal, spilled on the floor and surrounded by a geometric border drawn in white. It is the first sign of escape from the traditional framework and the imperative of form, by one of the most relevant living artists and a key protagonist of the Arte Povera movement.
Renato Ranaldi, Nova, Superavirtusfreesinfonica, 1971. This image depicts the artist as each component of an orchestra that paradoxically has only one identity. The self-referential aspect of this work celebrates the paroxysm of artistic individualism.
Jacopo Della Quercia Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto1406-1408. This sculpture is one of the most sublime marbles of the Italian Renaissance. The work evokes a noblewoman — the daughter of the Marquis of Savona, wife of Paolo Guinigi, Lord of Lucca — who died young in childbirth.
Giovanni Rizzoli, Dormeuse of the XIX century with phleboclysis, 1991, Installation 29 May 1992. This is an emblematic work by the Italian trailblazer of post-human art, poet of the condition of pathos, but also of the languor and the fever inherent in the conception of art.
Yves Klein, Leap into the Void, 1960. Yves Klein’s action of jumping into the void in Fontenay aux Roses, a suburb of Paris, acts as an emblem of the artist’s representations of intangible feelings — such as the sky blue monochrome of YKB that carries his name.
Alberto Burri, Sack 5 P, 1953. This work is by the inventor of “materic” painting, through which the artist abandoned any representative metaphor to express himself exclusively through the “presentation” of matter itself. With this materic painting, he creates cycles of works that have stood out among the masters of the 20th century, using sack, wood, combustion, metal and cellotex.
Giorgio de Chirico Premonitory portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire 1914. This oil-on-canvas painting is a portrait of the poet Apollinaire, known as “l’homme-cibles,” which was previously in Gilbert Bondar’s Paris collection and is today housed in the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. It is one of the true masterpieces by the father of metaphysical painting. In it, de Chirico, with his poetic caecitas, “foretells”
the wound to the head Apollinaire sustained, before it happened.
Enrico Castellani, White Surface 1961. This is one of the first works by the creator of Azimuth. He is the founder of an art based on semiotics, in which he structures the surfaces of monochrome canvasses with protrusions and inflections produced by nails applied to the wooden frame underneath the canvas. The modularity created by light and shadows evokes an endless rhythmic pattern on the surface of the canvas.
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, THE CREATIVE ISSUE #36, PAGES 131 – 146 AND LIMITED EDITION #50, PAGES 68 – 73.