Alighiero e Boetti Mark Godfrey

Publication date:
16 Jan 2012
Yale University Press
288 pages: x 190mm
70 color + 120 b-w illus.
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Alighiero e Boetti (1940-1994) has emerged as one of the most significant figures of postwar European art whose practice is having an unfolding impact on younger artists. His powerful influence can be attributed to the material diversity of his work, its conceptual ingenuity, and his political sensibility.

His work, though usually associated with the Italian Arte Povera group and Conceptual Art, never quite fit into these contexts. Boetti ceased making Arte Povera-type objects in 1969 after a few years of association with the group, and his later choice of materials (embroidery, calligraphy, mosaic, and kilims) put a gulf between his work and that of most artists of the 1970s and 1980s. Boetti had an idiosyncratic style of working, and he often collaborated with or commissioned others to execute his ideas, including his celebrated maps of the world, colourfully embroidered by women in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He tended to create several divergent bodies of work at once in series that he continued throughout his life.

Alighiero e Boetti is the first monograph covering the whole career of this crucial artist to be published in English. Rather than present a linear account of the artist's creative practice, the book contains linked chapters that expound the key subjects of Boetti's art, and position this work in relation to that of his European and American contemporaries.

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Read an article about Alighiero E Boetti on Yale's blog

Mark Godfrey is a curator at Tate Modern in London and a former lecturer at the Slade School of Art, University College London.

"Godfrey (Tate Modern, London) does a remarkable job of clearly presenting this fascinating artist's work in a way that makes it somehow both more familiar and legible. . . . Beautifully illustrated and written in an accessible style, this study is one of surprisingly broad appeal (given
the conceptual complexity of Boetti's oeuvre). It will be a welcome resource for scholars and advanced students of contemporary art and theory."—M.R. Freeman, Choice

“A thorough monograph on the artist.”—Barry Schwabsky, the Nation

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