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Alighiero e Boetti
Alighiero e Boetti

24/07/15 - 25/11/15

He is regarded as a key figure in the beginning and evolution of Arte Povera and Conceptual Art, two movements from the 1960s-1970s from which he soon distanced himself due to his personal and unclassifiable way to understand art. In the 1980s he developed a new way to conceive art that became first evident at the legendary exhibition Magiciens de la terre held at the Georges Pompidou Centre and at the Grande Halle at the Parisian Parc de la Villette (1989). This exhibit laid the intellectual foundations of a form of art that takes place in a post-colonial and glocal context.

His Pelaires exhibit, curated by Caterina Raganelli Boetti - the artist's widow and president of Fondazione Alighiero e Boetti - includes 20 representative works of the artist's final years. This period differs from the rest for its fresh creative spirit and personal search based on collaborative work (with Afghan artisans, for instance), where the artist becomes some sort of orchestra conductor leading a creative process conceived by him yet implemented as a team. Boetti was simultaneously able to get lost in the solitude of his studio and create images that were as immediate and fast as his own thoughts, images he developed from silhouettes using colourful sprays and Eastern stamps. Some of these works are on display at Pelaires Gallery. One of the artist's most important works is Self-Portrait (1993), a bronze sculpture located at the courtyard leading to the gallery. This sculpture is a copy of Boetti's body and rediscovers the palace tradition of statuary that marked the early Italian Renaissance. Conceived for the Sonsbeek 1993 exhibition (Holland) and after being displayed in the hall of the Pompidou Centre in 1993, this sculpture - animated by a hydraulic and electrical device - is like a "living image" of the artist that inhabits the time dimension of the event. This work was previously on display at Christian Stein Gallery in Milan as part of the 2014 retrospective planned by that gallery in collaboration with Fondazione Alighiero e Boetti in order to mark the 20th anniversary of the artist's death.

Boetti's work is mainly known for its multiplicity, duality and division. In 1972 he decided to sign his projects as Alighiero e Boetti, as if there were to different artists, in an attempt to demonstrate his fascination with the notions of playful and experimental. Both his group and solo shows are heavily poetically and iconically loaded, also showing the artist's devotion to non-Western history, culture and traditions.

This exhibit would not have been possible without the collaboration of Fondazione Alighiero e Boetti, the invaluable support of Christian Stein Gallery and the personal engagement of Caterina Raganelli Boetti.