One hundred years after his birth, Umbrian artist Alberto Burri is the subject of a major retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, on view through January 6. Exploring the beauty and complexity of Burri’s somewhat unorthodox works (think: melted plastic and burned burlap), the exhibition inspired Eataly to collaborate with the Guggenheim. The resulting limited-edition gift boxes showcase both Italy's culinary and cultural heritage.
At the Guggenheim, “Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting” positions the artist as a central protagonist of post-war art. However, in the first chapter of his life, Burri did not identify as an artist. Born in Città di Castello, a small town in the central Italian region of Umbria, he earned a medical degree with the dream of becoming a surgeon. Then, when World War II began, he was drafted to be an Italian Army medic during the North African Campaign. After three years of service, his unit was captured in Tunisia, whereupon he was interned at a prisoner of war camp in Texas in 1943.
As an emotional escape, Burri began to experiment with painting. The local YMCA s...