Minimum/Maximum: a Discovery into the Work of Artist Alighiero Boetti

Alighiero Boetti Alighiero Boetti

Alighiero Boetti was a leading 20th century Italian conceptual artist and a member of the Arte Povera movement. Especially famous for a series of embroidered maps of the world, “Mappa,” created between 1971 and his death in 1994, Boetti’s work was typified by his notion of ‘twinning,’ leading him to add ‘e’ (and) between his names, in his words “stimulating a dialectic exchange between these two selves.”

Between May 12 and July 12, 2017, the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice will host a highly original, wide-ranging journey of discovery into his work, at a time when his art is enjoying great popularity. Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, the Director of the Institute of Art History at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, with the collaboration of the Alighiero Boetti Archive, “Alighiero Boetti: Minimum/Maximum” shows the results of an unprecedented selection and comparison; the exhibition will explore the contrast between the smallest and largest formats of all the most representative series of works by the Turin artist, thus focusing on one of the themes that best illustrates Boetti’s creative procedures. The exhibition has been organized by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in collaboration with Tornabuoni Art as a celebration of the genius of the Turin artist. On display, are over 20 striking works selected, for the first time according to format, to produce a comparison of “minimum” and “maximum” in his most significant series. In the exhibition, there will also be one of the largest works from “Mimetic” (1967), a very early Boetti series, on loan from the Fondazione Prada.

In an area between the first and second rooms, a documentary will be shown: “Nothing to See, Nothing to Hide” made in 1978 by Emidio Greco at the time of the Boetti retrospective at the Kunsthalle, Basel.

The section dedicated to comparisons ends with the large-scale work entitled “Covers” (1984) which returns to the idea of the media’s obsessiveness and the formula of the transmitted and reused image, thus introducing the special project curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Gallery, London, and Agata Boetti, Director of the Archivio Alighiero Boetti. The project further illustrates Boetti’s essentially dialectical approach, in this case in addressing the theme of the photocopy.

Visitors are even invited to use a real photocopier at the centre of the room, but following the rules of a game specially created by the Mexican artist Mario Garcia Torres to pay homage to Boetti.