Alighiero Boetti

Polychromecotton, 1979
Collection of the Orestiadi Foundation of Gibellina

Alighiero Boetti starts hisseries of colorful banners in 1972 in Afghanistan. These banners, knownas Magic Squares, display grids of letterscomposingaphorisms and phrasestied to his culture and everyday life.

In 1985 in Gibellina he went on to create, with the help of a group of weavers, the big Prisente for the San Rocco celebration, whichis on display todayat the Museum of MediterraneanWefts.

The magicsquarescontain the conceptualdimension of Boetti's work: writing becomes a tool for order and mediator betweenorder and chaos, flowingbetweenmath base principles and the fictional.


Alighiero Boetti (Turin 1940 - Rome 1994)

He made his breakout through Arte Povera in january 1967. In 1972 he moves to Rome, which he feltwas more akin to hispredilection for the South of the world. The nextyear he found out about Afghanistan and started the body of work that he entrusts to the afghanweavers, amongwhich the Maps could be found, colourfulplanispheresthat he willreissue with changesreflecting the shifts of global politicalmovements. He was a conceptualartist, versatile and kaleidoscopic, whomultiplied the kinds of works whoseexecution, in some cases, he would delegate with precise instructions and rules to other people and other hands, leaninginto the principle of "necessity and opportunity".

Boetti hadhis work displayed in the mostprominentexhibits of his generation, from "Whenattitudesbecomeform" (1969) to "Contemporanea" (1973), from "Identitéitalienne" (1981) to "The Italianmetamorphosis 1943-1968" (1994).

He wasoftenfeaturedat the Venice Biennale, with a personal hall in 1990, a post-mortemhomage in 2000 and with a large exhibitat the Cini Foundation in 2017. Among the mostimportantexhibits in recentmemory, the "Game Plan" retrospectivewasdisplayed in threeprestigious locations (the New York MOMA, London's Tate and Madrid's Reina Sofia). From hisample body of art, many of hispieces are kept in variousitalian and international museums, amongwhich Paris' Centre Pompidou, the Stedelijk Museum, the Los Angeles MOCA and many more.