The Easel

14th May 2019

The ecstatic nihilism of the painter Alberto Burri

After internment in Texas, Burri returned to an Italy impoverished by war. These straightened circumstances suited his interest in unconventional materials – burlap, tar, plastics. His radical idea was to present “material as the subject matter itself”. Rauschenberg and Johns were just two of many disciples. “Brutally gorgeous paintings” says the writer. Images are here.

7th May 2019

Verrocchio: Restored to greatness

Being the art tutor of da Vinci would surely accustom one to second billing. Such has been Verrocchio’s fate. A first-ever retrospective in Florence is a revelation. It shows that he innovated widely and his studio was “the principal artistic powerhouse of the Florentine Renaissance”. When he switched from sculpture to painting, this work “influenced his successors for decades.” Images are here.