Alighiero Boetti, Turin 1940 - 1994 Rome

  • Alighiero Boetti

    Turin 1940 - 1994 Rome

Alighiero Boetti was one of the most influential figures in art of the postwar era in Italy. Boetti was a founding member of the Arte Povera movement, but around 1972 he separated from the group and moved to Rome, where he forged a highly original conceptual idiom. Around this time he changed his name to “Alighiero e Boetti” and started signing his work this way, as though he were two artists in one. Between 1971 to 1994 he undertook a series of projects working together with Afghan embroiderers. The resulting embroideries, many of which are monumental in scale, remain his most iconic works. Boetti first worked in Kabul, and then, following the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979, in the refugee camps of Pakistan. His female Afghan collaborators transformed Boetti’s templates into embroidered pieces, including Arazzi, brightly coloured grids of letters that spell out phrases, Mappe, world maps with each country delineated by the colours and symbols of their flags; and Tutti, filled with diverse objects, from sunglasses to scissors, collaged intricately together.