Alighiero Boetti
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Alighiero Boetti was born in Turin on December 16, 1940 to a lawyer father and a violinist mother. The father soon leaves the family so the mother has to take care of it by doing even humble jobs forgetting the career of a promising violinist. He spent his youth among listless studies and small businesses but attending museums and galleries. He stayed in Paris for a few years and then returned to Turin in a small apartment-studio where, in the mid-60s, he began to design industrial devices and in these drawings he inserted well-hidden letters, an omen of that type of art for which he was later identified. He then moves from paper to the objects that he exhibits at Cristian Stein's but which are still unknown to the public. In those years he had solo exhibitions, as well as at Stein's, at La Bertesca in Genoa and at Toselli's in Milan. He also participated in all the collective exhibitions of the "Arte Povera" movement and then detached himself in 1971 for the cooling with the other artists of the movement. In fact, although Boetti is often classified as an exponent of Arte Povera, he can be spoken of as a conceptual artist. This statement stands out already from the first works such as the one called "Gemelli", which is a photomontage of two photos of the artist the same and that gave him the idea to sign himself "Alighiero and Boetti". As well as the work called "The trial of harmony and invention" mental process transferred with marks on squared sheets, decidedly incomprehensible. The definition of "conceptual artist" takes strength as he continues in his work that is often carried out by others on the instruction of boetti himself, such as the "Postcards", the "Smileys", the "Tapestries", the "Maps". To make the tapestries and maps since 1971 Boetti makes long stays in Afghanistan in Kabul, where he also opens a hotel with a single room, having the tapestries made by local embroiderers. In 1972 he moved permanently to Rome in Trastevere and then moved later to Via del Pantheon where he took inspiration from his notes and drawings to print the book "Accanto al Pantheon". Following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he moved the processing of tapestries in Pakistan to Peshawar using Afghan women who had taken refuge there. In the eighties and until his death the work continues with a frantic rhythm of exhibitions and new inventions such as the cycle "Nature, a dark matter", the cycle "Everything", the ceramic mosaics, the "Calendars" to finish with the sculpture-fountain called "Self-portrait" made at the studio of Arnaldo Pomodoro when he was already very ill but, despite this, he undergoes a whole day of poses dressed and smeared with separating paint for the cast of the casting. Boetti's exhibition activity was intense both in Italy and abroad starting from the 1969 Bern collective "When attitudes became form" continuing with the Weber, Sperone, Stein, MOMA gallery, Centre Pompidou, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, etc and the three Venice Biennales, 1972, 1980, 1990. Boetti died at his home in Rome on April 24, 1994.

Tags: Alighiero Boetti - Boetti - Arte Povera - Conceptual Art - tapestries - maps