A new episode of the refined catalog documenting the output of Alighiero Boetti, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, is about to be published. The book examines the years from 1980 to 1987.
During the 1980s Boetti stepped up production of works on paper, in which he created a microcosm of images and inscriptions. Many of these works on paper are a sort of diary in which the artist jotted down dates, thoughts and reflections. The phrases are always written with the left hand since, according to the artist, “writing with my left hand is drawing”. Often the paper works contain references to images in previous works, with a collage of photographs or screen prints. The artist’s iconic reference to “Two hands and a pencil” comes recurs as a serigraphic base in several of his works, including the works entitled Tra sé e sé (Between oneself and oneself). In his work Afghanistan, in the centre of the tra sé e sé composition, the artist has placed a black outline of the country of Afghanistan. Here, Boetti pays homage to the country he chose as his adopted country, and where he stayed several times from 1971 onwards. However, following Soviet occupation, he was no longer able to visit it. He constantly has to update the flags in the maps to reflect changes in the geo-political situation. As if to combat this feeling of sadness, Boetti starts to work on a new series of very colorful works, entitled Nature, an obtuse matter. Here he uses a mixture of techniques in which collages of small pieces of thin painted paper, cut into animal shapes, often dominate: frogs, tortoises, monkeys, cats and fish. In the second half of the 1980s, he devoted a great deal of energy to creating large and small tapestries.