Alberto Burri began his career as a doctor, serving as a physician in the Italian army during the First World War. In 1944, he was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp in Texas and began to paint. After his release two years later he moved to Rome, where his first solo show was held at the Galleria La Margherita the following year. During his lifetime, Burri won the UNESCO Prize at the São Paulo Biennial in 1959; Critics’ Prize at the 1960 Venice Biennale; and in 1994 he was awarded the Italian Order of Merit. Burri’s birthplace, Città di Castello, has honoured him with a large permanent museum of his works and a major retrospective recently took place at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.