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Dual identity: Alighiero (and) Boetti

Alighiero Boetti in his studio, courtesy of the net

Artist biography Alighiero Boetti (Turin, 16 December 1940 – Rome, 24 February 1994) was an Italian conceptual and eclectic artist, considered to be a member of the art movement Arte Povera. During his carreer, he worked with different medias, such as tapestry, embroidery, photography, writing, volumic works and so on. Due to his desire to discover different layers of human communication, and as his interests were as diverse as they were intellectually rigorous, he abandoned his business school studies to pursue a career in art, but he engaged with philosophy, music, mathematics, literature and alchemy throughout his life.

Active as an artist from the early 1960s, Boetti developed a significant body of diverse works that were often both poetic and pleasing while steepping in his diverse theoretical interests, establishing himself as one of the leading artists of the Arte Povera movement.

Alighiero Boetti, Far quadrare tutto, 1979, courtesy of the net

Boetti divorced from Arte Povera in 1972 but never completely abandoning some of its democratic, anti-elitist, strategies. In 1973, he renamed himself as Alighiero e Boetti, reflecting the opposing factors presented in his work: the individual and society, error and perfection, order and disorder. The artist became a dual entity.

Boetti often conceived of an idea for a work of art but left its design and execution to others. He often collaborated with both artists and non-artists, giving them significant freedom in their contributions to his works. *

Alighiero Boetti, Mettere al mondo il mondo, 1975, courtesy of the net

He has been honored posthumously with seven large scale exhibitions or retrospectives at significant museums including the Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein; and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome.

* For the arazzi, in example, Boetti worked with artisan embroiderers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to whom he gave his designs but increasingly handed over the process of selecting and combining the colors and thus deciding the final aesthetic look of the work; and also, in the lavori biro (ball pen paintings), he would invite friends to fill large colored sections of the multi-part work by ball pen, typically alternating between a man and a woman from one sheet to another. Many of the works in this series contain puzzles, puns and linguistic codes, wherein letters of the alphabet run horizontally or vertically along the margin of the sheet.

Auctions results According to the website, the turnover of Alighiero Boetti's artwork in 2018 woths 12.3 million dollars (133 lots sold), and the price evolution in 2018 is plus 11.2% $100 invested in a work by Alighiero Boetti in 2000 would be worth an average of $1041 (+ 941%) in December 2018. From the beginning of the century, Boetti's most bought artpieces are tapestries (54% of lots sold), followed by Drawings/watercolors (29% with 572 artworks),

Upcoming public auctions

16 Feb 2019 16h00

Galleria Pananti Casa d'Aste Palazzo Peruzzi De' Medici Via Maggio 28 50125 Florence Italy

Selected artworks currently on sale

Alighiero Boetti, Mappa, 1983, Coming from Thomas J. Grogan Collection Chicago

Alighiero Boetti, Calendario, 1980, Ambrosiana Casa d'Aste

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