The “Burri Collection” Foundation was initially created at Palazzo Albizzini in 1978 by Alberto Burri himself with a donation of thirty-two works. Then, in 1990, the exhibition area was enlarged to include the Ex Seccatoi del Tabacco (Old Tobacco Drying Houses), which houses a further 128 works completed between 1970 and 1993. This is the largest collection of the artist’s work in existence and features a range of extremely important pieces selected by the painter himself.
On the occasion of the exhibition “Alberto Burri: the Space of Matter – between Europe and the U.S.A.” a new and highly effective vertical lighting system was installed for the exhibition walls at Palazzo Albizzini.
The palazzo was originally built in the late 15th century and covers an overall floor area of 1660 m2
, spread over three floors. The architecture has a clear Florentine Renaissance style, as the Albizzini family played an important role in the city’s history and the family altar in Saint Francis’ church once displayed Raphael’s “Marriage of the Virgin”, which is now kept in Brera.
Having been sadly abandoned, the palazzo was eventually bought by the Cassa di Risparmio di Città di Castello Bank that also sponsored its restoration, which was completed in 1981. It was then given to the Foundation free of charge for a period of 99 years.
The building, which presented extensive structural and aesthetic damage, was restored by two architects, Alberto Zanmatti and Tiziano Sarteanesi, who adopted various measures to restore the space and reinforce it structurally while maintaining the distinctive look of the grey stone used extensively in its construction. IN60 luminaires with a grey ceiling mounting were chosen to illuminate the walls, create light lines and define spaces using the colour grey as a leitmotif on the ceilings of the various rooms. Wall washer optics were also chosen for the exhibition walls as they provide even and effective illumination. These walls display a permanent collection of 130 of Burri’s works, dating from 1948 to 1989 and belonging to the Tars, Moulds, Humps, Sacks, Woods, Metals, Combustions, Cracks and Cellotex series, along with a number of set design sketches and some examples of the artist’s graphic work. New emergency exit routes were also designed and lit with Motus luminaires.
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