new-york

Alberto Burri, Nero Celotex (Black Celotex), 1986–87, acrylic and Vinavil on Celotex, 50 x 98".

Alberto Burri

Luxembourg & Dayan | New York

Alberto Burri, Nero Celotex (Black Celotex), 1986–87, acrylic and Vinavil on Celotex, 50 x 98".

Shown in this bijou Upper East Side town-house gallery, a group of ten paintings titled Nero Celotex (Black Celotex), 1986–87, by Alberto Burri (1915–1995) bring to mind contrasting works by Dieter Roth (1930–1998) and his son Björn in a concurrent exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s dauntingly mammoth new outpost in Chelsea. Both Burri and Roth the elder, in some measure overlooked in the United States, are in their own countries—Italy and Switzerland, respectively—regarded as iconic figures. I briefly couple these exhibitions because they curiously illustrate reverse patterns of development.

Roth’s work—the earliest dates to the 1950s—was at first characterized by immaculate neatness, but over the decades transformed into an art of histrionic self-exposure deeply caricatural of presumed Swiss mores. His infamous moldy and collapsing chocolate sculptures, for example,

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