Alighiero Boetti (Torino, 1940 – Roma, 1994) was a conceptual artist and designer who was largely associated with the Arte Povera movement.

Order and chaos

He is most recognised for his tapestry works that consist of different formats which are separated into grids, mottos and phrases invented by the artist. Boetti’s work often questioned the relationship between the artist and the work, regarding authorship, seriality and continuity. His travels to Afghanistan heavily influenced aspects of his style which can be seen in pieces like ‘’Mappa’’ series. During his time there, he was absorbed by the tension and the disjointed structure of order and chaos.

Most important exhibitions

His ‘Large Map of the World’ (1989) is on permanent display as an important feature of the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Alighiero Boetti was among the artists included in Harald Szeemann’s seminal exhibition “When attitudes become form” (1969). He has participated six times at the Venice Biennale: his personal room won a prize in 1990 and a posthumous homage was held in 2001. He has been honored post-humously with several large-scale exhibitions, most notably at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Vienna in 1997 and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main in 1998. Notable exhibitions dedicated to his work include those at MADRE – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Naples (2009) and Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch, Germany (2008).