THE BURANO PRIZE



Introduction

I considered, in this site dedicated to the Maestro Eugenio Da Venezia and friends, interesting to create a section relating to the Burano Prize, which in its first four editions has left a strong mark in the art area of Venice and Triveneto in general. An award loved and hated by all, as the tradition for all the awards, which also gets sweet words only by the conqueror of the year and little more, in a period of generational clash between post-impressionists and pre and neo abstracts. The love that still comes out is what unifies and the qualitative presence is witnessed.
Among the numerous publications i found very interesting the Giovanni Bianco text, proposing a discussion of the overall prize in its years of development.

Burano Prize 1946: the beginning of a story. Brief history of Burano Prize in 1951, 1953, 1956

Burano Prize is detected for the artists of Triveneto, as it never had a real answer to the national level, an important event, to check the progress of local pictorial research. It has maintained over time, although lacking a regular basis, a popularity among artists.
After its historic first four editions (1946, 1951, 1953, 1956) Burano Prize back to life in the mid-sixties as a small prize Burano for amateurs, from 1972 to the nineties it has been a revival of the award which now takes the title of Burano Award for Painting. Since 2000 the Prize Burano memory is kept alive by artistic event "Invite to the color" strongly desired by Emilio D'Este.
The proposed text examines the first four editions of the Burano Prize that in the story overall, are of utmost importance and circumscribe politely first chapter.
Unlike the collective at the Bevilacqua La Masa for young artists and exhibitions of Italian art and the Biennale International, Prize Burano, which set no age limit, compares directed several generations of Triveneto painters. The dominant theme is the landscape lagoon, where traditionalists and innovators painters painted.
Retracing the events of the first editions of the prize is an opportunity to witness the different stages of the clash of generations that has affected the diverse "family" of artists in the postwar period, especially the iterative attempts made by the younger generation of painters to renew the vision of "traditional" landscape. To the point that some works the edition of 1956 reached an extreme limit, negating the meaning of "landscape".

The first edition of Burano Prize 1946

It was a breath national contest, organized by the Municipality of Venice among Italian painters. In reality, the assigned theme, landscape of Burano lagoon landscape, limited the participation of artists working the Veneto, so the event proved in fact a competition between Venetians artists. In this sense, the Prix took particular importance, because in facing the lagoon view is underscored two artistic movements: one represented by the traditional painters, the other young painters inclined fantastic interpretation of reality or even rational abstraction forms. Just the contrast between these two trends would also be reflected in the jury, which was divided in time to award prizes. A clash of generations thus assumed that true story to the protests of some artists on opening day, shortly after the announcement of the winners of the prizes.
The decision by the Executive of the Municipal People's March 22, 1946 stating that the "purpose of the event than to contribute to the revival of artistic activity in Venice was the centre fervent in every age is to pay homage to the island lagoon that was inspiring touched so many expressions of art. " This idea is reiterated in the words of Carlo Izzo, commissioner of Fine Arts, listed in the catalog published in conjunction with the opening of the event: "Prize Burano created by the Government of the People's Liberation, has found that the administration has succeeded, understanding and fervour that the initiative deserved. A painting prize opened in the name of the island that inspired the art of Moggioli, Rossi, Semeghini and many others, is a tribute that is surprising is not made in Burano long before now and why consolation for us, although how this grave hour, yet so much light in men of faith in spiritual values, to enable them to forget for a moment more painfully urgent care and open a parenthesis in a pure contemplation edge of the most serene and full of poetic motifs of the earth. Judge the value of the show critics and the public, we have just pointed out here the reasons ideals, so generously heard by those who wanted to contribute to a richer prize competition. We close by thanking those who helped and supported us for the best outcome of it and hope that in future years the prize may Burano more authoritatively fit between the national artistic events, such that our immeasurable lagoon rises in a new world voice call love of beauty and peace. "
Also to emphasize the artistic point of view the island of Burano tribute was organized as a side-event premium, an exhibition "out of competition" with works by Gino Rossi, Umberto Moggioli, Pio Semeghini the leading exponents of what was the "school of Burano" beside which are also works of Bruno Saetti, Alessandro Pomi, Mario Vellani-Marchi, Filippo de Pisis, and exceptionally some sculptures of the buranello artist Remigio Barbaro.
The notice and Regulation Prize Burano (dated February 9, 1946) were made public, even through the press, at the end of March 1946. To organize the award the City asked the support and collaboration of the Biennale, which gathers the works, which were notified (by August 16) and then sent (by August 20) to the gardens of La Biennale to be submitted to consideration by the jury. It was consistent adherence to the competition as a whole the artists who notify their paintings were 254 for a total of 592 works. In the vast majority Venetian artists and winds with a substantial core of Lombard artists, particularly in Milan. Of all the artists who had notified the works, 209 sent their paintings reached the total of 431. Among those who report their work but then do not submit them worth remembering: Virgilio Guidi, Giuseppe Migneco, Aligi Sassu, Zoran Music.
Collected works, broke the jury that "following the general concept of selecting the works above any trend, selected after several meetings, 93 works for a total of 77 artists. Was therefore made a strict selection.
On 4 September, the day of the exhibition, the jury met instead to assign the two prizes offered by the City of Venice and the twenty-two additional prizes. Ferruccio Asta gave L 5000 as a reward Santo Stefano and Giuseppe Cipriani L 3000 to the prize "Friends of Burano.
We read the report of the jury: "Day 4 September 1946 at 11 gathered in a classroom of Burano elementary schools in the seven components of Burano Prize of the Jury, chaired by prof. Charles Izzo, representing the Mayor of Venice President of the Organizing Committee. After extensively summarizing the discussions of previous sessions, the jury held a majority of votes in all cases, the assignment of two awards from the City provided notice of competition, namely the premium of L. From 100,000 to Carlo Dalla Zorza framework for Burano and the second prize of L. 80,000 to Umberto Lilloni for the painting sailing ships.
The awarding of two prizes offered by the City is undoubtedly reflects the recognition of tradition. Are in fact rewarded by two artists established reputation, a Venetian artist Carlo Dalla Zorza lagoon authoritative exponent of landscape painting sponsored by the "second school of Burano" and a Milan painter, Umberto Lilloni, linked to Chiarist Lombard. Even in the distribution of 22 additional prizes will be stressed the lagoon of the event with the number of seventeen. Just the task of assigning such a large number of awards divided the jury that chose a compromise that everyone dissatisfied. One can easily understand why the ceremony sparked a general discontent, especially among local artists, much to start a lively protest. With the proclamation of winners, by a democratic Izzo from a well, the official opening turned into a true story that is echoed in the press, decreed a wide public response.
To relive the atmosphere of that special day is proposed reading of the living and entertaining testimony of Emilio Vedova, artist personally involved in this protest: "In 1946 the Municipal Council of Venice decided to make an Award Burano. The island was under the proclamation of the premium and awards. A hot day. The jury had not solved its decisions in the morning, had lunch and then again the jury was to discuss assignments. The poor painters at every appearance suspicious, type in the work, or knowledgeable ... twitching. Lunch was then consumed within those tensions. And no news was alive. After dinner we dispersed to seek refuge on the island burning hot wind. When a rumour to say that the deed was done and that the verdict was announced in the big field. There were invited several of those people, authorities, etc.. that were now within the political representative of something. Izzo then Councillor for Tourism, read to us the list of prizes. I've never been able to explain the precise reason that pushed me to get away from that place and brought directly to the school where we held the exhibition. The school was located three sides by water and had built a single entry, before i found myself blocked by a tricolour ribbon. By decision jumped over the usual tape waiting to be cut by authority and immediately look for my paintings. Reminder: the rooms burned again to the occasion, broke and paintings and eyes. I was not easy to find my pictures and thought I was not upset when there they find. But alas before my work, by the media as if he had guessed my intention, there he is standing in, shielding his body, my diabolical enough thrust at a millimetre of indecision on my part to make it that little more black South ever hallucinated on the white part of the pass attack apostrophe: "Who are you? What are you doing here? The words echoed from the Sinai in that room ... echoing a great light from the resurrection more than ever invaded by cutting around the space ... i said "Who am I? I am the eternal father." It is not known for such atavistic influences undoubtedly accentuated by the surreal situation, the little man taken by surprise and terror, leaving finally dropped their arms raised in defence until then, said, "when so". I had the green light. I pulled in a flash of time, the two paintings by the party and now ... just from the Eternal Father, i found a very small, between the legs, which take the paintings from the hands, as if he knew what to do disappeared. Closer now the caravan became the buzz of authorities and here they are ... nice snake stuck in the corridor, I find myself in front of the bridge as Sublicio. There were moments of suspension, air snaking something incomprehensible. Someone ask to me: "What are you doing here?" Where are your paintings? "I said" My paintings? I have them thrown into the water." I never thought my jokes that they had a healing power, was the signal for revolt. I never thought that with me, others unhappy with me, they would find in a gesture like the flag of their own protest, and there they were these painters, with the horror of the authorities, to detach, to fly into the square from the windows school! We wanted to make arrests, the authorities intervened, saying for goodness sake, do not make an even bigger scandal to minimize the scandal. The air was really restless now the painters after the first moment of panic revolutionary thought of the folly of their actions and that all in all: picture, frame were bubbling under water ... but the height of tension came when it was learned that the small boy, slipped between the legs had brought my paintings rescued from the nearby Trattoria Romano and that my pictures (time: imagine the disaster if they had crashed in the water) there were very quiet and nothing not invoking help, like my other colleagues. I felt such a sense of irritation that i thought good to disappear. The day turned hot and hallucinated and sunset could be seen painters desolate, the margins of banks, eager to show here and the possible points of reference and an army of fishermen, children, nets, harpoons paraphernalia from recovery, dive, fish up a fuss the works. And so one by one, the drip paintings, someone shouting horrific hit with the painter in question, emerged the warm light of evening. I found time to sell the same day my pictures scandal, which now also had value as historical documents. Me he could return to Venice in your pocket more than a thousand and one ticket voucher to use before the winter at Romano for a month."
If Vedova remembers what happened in terms of scandal, the young emerging critic Umberto Morucchio on the pages of Gazzetta Veneta wrote: “but here's a pitiful scene. L'enfant gate painter Vedova, which too often mixes timeless art and politics, why then art is born confused and dirty politics, went to his paintings and tore rowdy there, fighting with police. His cry was pitiful and funny "i am an avant-garde" (and then other words that were lost). "I'm an avant-garde of Italian painting”. So they took courage and other artists made the historic gesture. Bergamini, less vigorous, failed to break through the police line. He turned L 5000 to the nursing home of old fishermen.
How Bergamini, even Pizzinato symbolically rejects the sum of the premium and the L 5000 assigned to his work to the Venice Union of Italian Women to help poor children.
This dramatic protest action as well as participated Vedova, even painters Renato Zanutto and Eugenio Da venezia, the only one who actually threw his paintings in the channel.
We must at this point, to highlight the different spirit which had animated the noisy protest actions by Emilio Vedova and Eugenio Da Venezia. The common goal is to challenge the jury's verdict, but radically opposed are the reasons behind this attitude.
Emilio Vedova is the next generation of Venetian painters, was proclaimed "vanguard of Italian painting, young artist promising and combative, troubled in its artistic, who feels put out and not included in his painting and then react with violence to a verdict that actually honours the tradition and do not in any way take into account the most extreme innovations. The Widow of pictorial research in recent years is in fact strongly influenced by expressive influences ranging from Picasso, Rouault, Kokoschka to be Permeke by Mancini Rossi, Tintoretto to Guardi; then oriented towards a decidedly expressionist language that involves the crossing and rejection of the delicate touch of Venetian-impressionist. This is also evident by observing the work of Landscape Burano, one of the works selected for the award.
Eugenio Da Venezia (this was a work entitled Spring in Mazzorbo, and by the notification that the prize had submitted three paintings) is contrary to the established artist, star of the Venetian art scene since the late twenties who now sees be less consensus. Certainly his sense of protest was fueled by the fact that many artists of his circle and his generation as the Carlo Dalla Zorza, Fioravante Seibezzi, Neno Mori were rewarded when his work was not taken into account. But probably Da Venezia also warned that times were changing dramatically and quickly and that its refined painterly and his delicate palette were outdated and considered by the new generations, a legacy of the past generation.
After the opening assignment of awards was published a small catalog of works and moving images with recognition we can get an idea of overall quality. You can not not share Morucchio words when referring to artworks in Burano Prize calls "one of the many painting dialect" and "confusion and anguish in the painters updated".
Indeed, in general, if the line remains traditional lagoon landscape, seen in works of Dalla Zorza, Seibezzi, Mori, Varagnolo, Tonello, Bergamini there is instead a new generation of artists in the rejection of superficial mannerist painters of the lagoon in favour of a pictorial expression more solid and clear plastic cube-Expressionist reminiscence, but not foreign to the lesson of Gino Rossi and Virgilio Guidi. There is thus an attempt to renew the vision of the view according to a lagoon modern feel. This is evident, for example, in the works of Gastone Breddo, Remo Brindisi, Luciano Gaspari, Armando Pizzinato, Ezio Rizzetto, Claudio Cavaggioni. In a critical Silvio Branzi stresses that both the old painters traditionalists that young artists are now living a moment of deep crisis but if the crisis is for traditionalists "of exhaustion and decay", the crisis for young people is "the germination and growth". In the youngs is important to deal "the problem of expression in the historical consciousness of his time"; to them the possibility to draw the way of "tomorrow painting".

The second edition of Burano Prize 1951

Spend five years before the prize Burano may see its second edition. In fact only in 1951, sponsored by the City of Venice and by the Provincial Tourism, announced the new competition is that no change with respect to the previous one. The premium keeps his national address and the subject remains one of the landscape or the Burano lagoon, so even a few artists this year are "foreigners." shall be established two official awards: a first-degree L. 500000 and 200000 a second regulation that are indivisible. Were added from other organizations and individuals.
participation is, however massive, is put before the jury 470 works by 228 artists. The jury for the acceptance of works and the allocation of premiums (made by Umbro Apollonio, Nino Barbantini, Orio Vergani and painters Pio Semeghini Armando Pizzinato, Rino Villa and Felice Carena) operates a rigorous and drastic selection accepting 121 works of 101 artists.
Also in this second edition is out of competition with an exhibition of paintings Pio Semeghini, Umberto Moggioli, Gino Rossi and Arturo Martini (drawings) Rino Villa, Armando Pizzinato, Felice Carena, Bruno Saetti, Carlo Dalla Zorza Mario Vellani Marchi , and sculpture by Arturo Martini and Remigio Barbaro.
Regarding the award there are clamorous protest actions but there are controversies. Always remains a clear contrast between traditionalists and innovators painters. In particular, some artists, in fact challenging the theme of landscape paintings sent for the competition which represents the views of the lagoon but not fishermen and lace. It sought to extend the theme of landscape, obviously not restrictive, although the figure or genre scene. Faced with this action, the jury decides that these works are included in the exhibition with the designation "non-competing Award.
This action, however, puts in full light of the limits of Burano Prize, which was precisely the same issue brought to the artists, exclusively dedicated to the lagoon landscape. In this regard Guido Perocco suggests "the only remedy is to double the prize next time Burano distinct, with two awards, one for the landscape and a free theme for a painting. will certainly be a good excuse to open my arms to all the painters of Italy to those who could not come to Burano to paint or buy a postcard.
A tense moment occurs even within the same jury to award the prize at the time of First Instance of L. 500000, according to the Regulation, must be indivisible. Not having the jury reached a majority on the name of one winner had decided not to award any artist to return the award to the City and Provincial Tourism body. Took note of this decision the Mayor and President of the Provincial Tourism ruled that the bonus could be divided into two awards L. 250000 each.
Who were the two artists who were vying for first prize and had embarrassed the judges? Virgilio Guidi and Juti Ravenna, which is the antithesis to represent the landscape.
Virgilio Guidi is the artist who has managed to revolutionize the vision of the landscape of the lagoon and its lagoon in Burano Picture Guido Perocco known as "living as a Platonic idea in itself in an absolute space without shadows, without clouds, without flowers or houses . Your participation in the prize Burano could only receive an award, even if the vision of the lagoon proposal could be too "absolute", abstract and provocative at a time when the controversy raging between abstract and realistic. Hence probably the reluctance to reward him by some members of the jury.
The painting of Jutes Ravenna, water and air allotments of Burano, solved with a splash of touch tones featuring "fresh, perfectly measured and alive by accents" Fauve "is in the wake of the traditional interpretation of the landscape of the lagoon, descriptive and spontaneous .
The second prize by L. 200000 is assigned instead to the young painter Giorgio Celiberti, confirming the participation of new generations nurtured the competition.

The third edition of Burano Prize 1953

The third edition of Burano Award, sponsored by the City of Venice and by the Provincial Tourism, was organized in 1953 and presents some novelties. Indeed, the invitation is always open to a national participation, now provides for two separate competitions with prizes: one for the landscape and the neighbouring islands of Burano and one dedicated to works inspired by any landscape. Also introduced is a special prize to be awarded to a work of engraving dedicated to the landscape of Burano. The free competition dedicated to the landscape, although some considered "complete anachronism in the essence of the deeper meaning which originally was inspired by the exhibition", increased, albeit slightly, participation in the award of artists active outside the Triveneto.
The jury composed by Piero Leonardi (chairman), Francesco Arcangeli, Gian Alberto Dell'Acqua, Felice Carena, Virgilio Guidi, Bruno Saetti, Nino Springolo, Guido Perocco (Secretary) is to judge well 603 works by 254 artists. Of these, 273 were submitted by participants in the first contest and 295 per second, 35 engravings instead competed for the special premium. The selection is rigorous and 115 works are chosen for the first contest, 142 for the second and 32 for the prize dedicated incision.
This time all the awards are split, probably to accommodate more artists possible. For the competition dedicated to the landscape of the nearby islands of Burano and the award of First Instance of L 500000 is evenly divided between Gigi Candiani Reflections framework for the evening and Neno Mori Framework for Landscape lagoon, the second-degree L 200000 is shared between Fioravante Seibezzi for the framework to Channel Mazzorbo and Luciano Gaspari for the picture houses of Burano. Surely the prize awarded to Drive in 1951 is more audacious than now. Instead the competition dedicated to the landscape free bonus first degree is awarded ex aequo to the Lombard painter Gigi melons (L 250000) for the painting La Salute and the Bolognese painter Hilary Rossi (L 250000) for the framework Canal Port. Awards for the second degree (L 100,000 each) are assigned to Luigi Cobianco for Asolo Landscape No 1 and Renato Borsato for Breton landscape. Among the engravers of L 50000 prize is divided into two awards, the first John Barbisan (L 30000) for etching Gardens in Mazzorbo and second (L 20000) Bruno Colors for woodcut Beaters cod.
On the day of the exhibition are given notice of the allocation of extra prizes offered by institutions and individuals. Inescapable is the show out of competition with terracotta Remigio Barbaro landscapes Juti Ravenna, Nino Springolo Mario Vellani Marchi, Vincenzo Ciardo, Arturo Tosi, Carlo Dalla Zorza Pio Semeghini, Gino Rossi (exposed maternity), Umberto Moggioli, Carlo Carra, Giambattista Seibezzi, Filippo de Pisis, Virgilio Guidi, Bruno Saetti Giorgio Morandi.
In this edition of the prize works "abstract" and clearly many are not all collected in the free section of the landscape, but certainly from a historical perspective among the more interesting as a beautiful landscape of spaces of Tancredi and a vibrant landscape of Gino Morandi . This first present abstract works highlights how this research, followed by the younger generation in particular, could be construed as extreme interpretation of the landscape. There arises the problem of representing more descriptively the landscape, to depict what is seen, but to suggest with lights, colors, signs the atmosphere, the space of the landscape that is now being realized.


The fourth edition of Burano Prize 1956

The fourth prize Burano, launched by the Municipality in 1956, falling to coincide with the Biennale International Art Exhibition XXVIII. The competition is open to all artists residing in Italy or Italians, is focused on the landscape. For the first time is not specified in the notice that the landscape should be or the nearby islands of Burano. It thus seeks a revival of the prize at the national level, but still remains in Triveneto.
If the notice is not given clear guidance on the subject must remember that some prizes in the contest, however, were reserved exclusively to works inspired by Burano. The competition is open to works of painting, engraving and drawing for the first time, for each of these categories are established two official prizes. The prize for landscape painting inspired Burano is offered by the Provincial Tourism.
Participation is always high, 302 artists present 602 paintings, 134 drawings and 70 engravings of. The jury, composed by Virgilio Guidi (President), Eugenio Da Venezia, Mauro Innocenti, Marchiori Giuseppe, Franco Russoli, Pietro Zampetti, Guido Perocco (Secretary), 175 select artists for a total of 196 works of painting, drawing 38 and 52 engravings.
The prizes this time are not divided and are distributed as follows: Prize for landscape painting, the young Milan Bepi Romagnoni (L 500000) for the yard, a prize for landscape painting inspired Burano to Fioravante Seibezzi (L 3000000) for Landscape lagoon premium, a recording of a landscape Girolamo Calamori (L 50000) for Venetian Scene, an award for a recording of Burano lagoon landscape inspired by Mario Abis (L 50000) for tugs, a prize for landscape drawing Virgilio Tramontin (L 50000 ) to the estuary, a prize for landscape drawing inspiration from the lagoon to Burano Giorgio Spinaci (L 50000) for lagoon in Burano.
The traditional show out of competition loses its historical character and it is now reserved exclusively to Burano artists such as Remigio Barbaro, Savinio Bortoluzzi, Ernesto Busarello and Giovanni Vio.
If the abstract works in 1953 were few in this edition of 1956 non-figurative works by the young artists are in large numbers and represent the real news of the event. Although not received official awards, however, get significant awards.
Note Gigi Scarpa as Burano Prize "rejuvenated in participation has not lost its vitality and continues his polemic note in relation to the topic (which is indeed binding to anyone) this time represented by the extremes of the shape, very hastily, for all we can say abstraction. And the officers seem to have even bothered to accompany visitors to understand how the most well known and peaceful forms of impressionism Venetian, which may be among Seibezzi Cobianchi and, perhaps unnoticed through continuous and constructive change and color landscapes and you finally arrive at high screams and violent automatism Ennio Finzi and Rampin ... In different ways we meet here the angry energy and strength hook and the most sensitive, to the refined tones of Finzi (season of Burano with its pink safer) or the penalty of detention and the fresh Korompay Zaramella and also merge with Sbisa expert and controlled but must flee the temptations of influences closer to Zotti impetuous as ever, but which we believe we can give warning not to repeat and not to run away with this evasion to the commitments that had taken forward with his story full of life and passion. With these are Breddo premium (Padua) with work not among the happiest in his new production, Capisani, Hollesch, Gasparini, Queen (sic.) and Vianello.
It will be the presence of large abstract works to indicate clearly the end of a lagoon landscape painting and to suggest a pause for reflection.
In 1956, ten years after its first edition, ends the first chapter in the history of Burano that prize four times during its history is revealed as a vital and necessary way to verify Venetian art.

Giovanni Bianchi, dal Catalogo Memorie di paesaggio. Il “Veneto Felice” nei suoi pittori del Novecento. Cicero editore, 2010
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