Alighiero Boetti was born in 1940 in Turin. From an early age, he was interested in literature, Eastern philosophy and the life of an ancestor, a Dominican missionary in Mosul, which led him to travel widely.
Between 1960 and 1965 he started making drawings and abstract paintings; in 1964 he married Annemarie Sauzeau.
In 1967 he had his first solo show at the Christian Stein Gallery, where he exhibited works made with materials he recycled and welded.
In 1971 he visited Afghanistan for the first time, which in the following years would become a yearly trip until 1979. There he met the Afghan women that would embroider his Mappa works dated 1971-72.
Later he began producing results in ballpoint pen, also entrusted to (Italian) third parties: Mettere al mondo il mondo (1972–1973).
As an experimental and conceptual artist of Arte Povera, Boetti combined art and daily life, the public and private, objects, words and performances, questioning identity and its status (Gemelli, 1968; in 1972 he split his name into two parts, Alighiero and Boetti).
He exhibited at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne in 1974, at the Kunsthalle in Basel in 1978, and in the following decades in the US and Europe.
Alighiero Boetti has exhibited in the most emblematic exhibitions of his generation, from When attitudes become form (1969) to Contemporanea (1973), from Identité italienne (1981) to The Italian Metamorphosis 1943-1968 (1994).
He is several times present at the Venice Biennale, with a solo room in the 1990 edition, a posthumous tribute in 2001 and a large exhibition at the Cini Foundation in the recent edition of 2011.
Source: Magonza publisher