Born in Turin, Italy, 1940. Lived in Rome, Italy, until 1994.
Alighiero Boetti began his career as a self-taught artist, debuting in 1967 within a context marked by Arte Povera. He took part in all group exhibitions around this theme and in shows on Conceptual Art such as “When attitudes become form” at the Kunsthalle Basel in 1969. During the 70s his work turned to conceptual, focusing on codes of classification and communication, working with numbers, maps and alphabets, playing with a variety of materials and techniques, reminiscent of ancient Asian craftsmanship. In 1971 started the series of “Maps”, entrusting the realization of his famous tapestries to Afghan female embroiderers. The colours and shapes of the flags changed according to the world’s geopolitical context at the time of the realization (1971-1994). Countries like Ethiopia, Guatemala and Japan inspired him to create his “Lavori postali” (Postal works) with local stamps. He rediscovered the handmade drawing with “carte quadrettate” (squared papers) and the coloured ballpoint pen paintings (1972). “Ordine e disordine” (Order and Disorder, 1973) inaugurated the series “Ricami con lettere” (Embroideries with letters). In the 80s his art was mainly based on works on paper and embroideries made by Afghan female refugees in Peshawar (Pakistan) belonging to the series “Tutto” (All).
Photo by Caterina Raganelli Boetti. Image courtesy of Fondazione Alighiero Boetti, Rome