For me the work of the embroidered Mappa  [is the] ultimate in beauty. For that work I did nothing, chose nothing, in the sense that the world is made as it is, not as I designed it, the flags are those that exist, and I did not design them. In short, I did absolutely nothing; when the basic idea, the concept, emerges, everything else requires no choosing.

Alighiero Boetti was an Italian conceptual artist and leading member of the Arte Povera movement, a group born in the 1960s with a socially committed and openly critical attitude towards the consumer society. Boetti's works participated in a renewal of artistic language, favoring the creative process over the finished object and the conceptual meaning of the work of art over its narrative or aesthetic dimension.


Paintings, works of art are continuous sources of words and thoughts. But the circle does not close. There is always this circularity whereby things are infinite, continuous and varying.

Alighiero Boetti was born in Turin in 1940. From 1968, he added an ‘e’ (Italian for ‘and’) between his first name and surname creating a double character which he used throughout his career.


Boetti’s affiliation with the Arte Povera movement was brief, and by the 1970s, he stood apart from the collective movements of those times. He was heavily influenced by his travels to Afghanistan - he visited the country for the first time in 1971 and then regularly until 1979 when the Russian Army invaded. In his famous Mappa series, Boetti directed Afghan craftswomen to embroider maps with...

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