Alighiero Boetti

The revolutionary idea of his art is to propose - to himself and to the people he involved - systems and pre-established patterns in which to act.

Alighiero Boetti was born in Turin in 1940 and lived and worked in Rome, where he died in 1994. 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 travelled to Afghanistan for the first time in 1971 and visited the country regularly until 1979 when the Russian Army invaded. Boetti is represented in numerous important public collections worldwide. Notable solo exhibitions have taken place at the Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; and the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. A major retrospective recently took place at the Museo Nacional de Arte Centro Reina Sofia, Madrid; Tate Modern, London; and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.


Alighiero Fabrizio Boetti (Turin 1940 - Rome 1994) was an Italian conceptual artist. After a debut linked to the Arte Povera - a movement that paved the way for total freedom of expression, but from which it is separated at an early stage (1969) - from the end of the 1960s, conceptual elaborations took over. On this basis, he began works on doubling, symmetry and multiplication. His works, focused on classification codes, such as numbers, maps and alphabets, are created with a great variety of materials and techniques, evocative of ancient artisan craftsmanship: among many others can be found the creation of his numerous Tapestries or Maps of the World, entrusted by the artist to Afghan manufacturers, acquainted during his many trips to the Middle East. The revolutionary idea of his art is to propose - to himself and to the people he involved - systems and pre-established patterns in which to act. At the same time, subjects such as geography, mathematics and geometry assumed the role of privileged platforms for the implementation of their own choices, which have the primary purpose of putting radically into question the traditional role of the artist, questioning concepts of sequence, repetition and authorship of the work of art.


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