Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE ITALIAN COLLECTOR
Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994)

Oggi diciassettesimo giorno undicesimo mese anno 1000nove100ottantotto...

Details
Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994)
Oggi diciassettesimo giorno undicesimo mese anno 1000nove100ottantotto...
signed 'alighiero e boetti' (on the overlap)
embroidery on canvas
42 5/8 x 44 1/8in. (108.2 x 112cm.)
Executed in 1988
Provenance
Galleria Seno, Milan.
Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 2004.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.
Post lot text
This work is registered in the Archivio Alighiero Boetti, Rome, under no. 7337.

Brought to you by

Anne Elisabeth Spittler
Anne Elisabeth Spittler

Lot Essay

This Arazzo (Tapestry) entitled, 'Today is the seventeenth day of November 1988, Alighero Boetti to the beloved Pantheon' is a particularly comprehensive example of Boetti's great series of tapestries that serves as a kind of compendium of pantheon perhaps, of many of the artist's favourite themes, philosophies and axioms. Centred in sixteen squares intercepted, vertically and horizontally, by the Farsi names of the Afghan co-creators of this work are such typical Boetti lines as: Lasciare il certo per l'incerto (Leave the certain for the uncertain), Pack perdita d'identita tutto (Pack loss of identity everything), Talvolta sole talvolta luna, (Sometimes sun, sometimes moon), Sragionare in lungo e in largo (Think illogically far and wide), Verba Volant Scripta Manent (Spoken words fly away, written words remain), Tra l'incudine e il Martello (Between the anvil and the hammer), and Seguire il filo del discorso (Follow the thread of the conversation).
This combination of Italian and Farsi script is reflective of the fact that in his Arazzi Boetti aimed to create a visual fusion of Eastern and Western thought and ideology and through this fusion expose the union and division that exists in the world. Founded on his principles of ordine e disordine (the notion that the world consists entirely of a yin and yang-like division of order and disorder), the Arazzo are a colourful composite of organised disorder. Consisting of individual coloured letters each highlighted or obscured against a contrasting square coloured background determined by the Afghan women who embroidered these works according to Boetti's guidelines, the Arazzi are essentially written texts. By splitting the text into its own constituent parts - its individual letters - Boetti exposes language as a sophisticated but nonetheless artificial systematic arrangement of form. At the same time, the majority of Arazzo contain an alternative text in Farsi (the language spoken in Afghanistan) alternated with the Italian text. The mixing of the languages along with the fact that these works were embroidered in Afghanistan, symbolises the traditional differences between East and West, while at the same time uniting them within the creative process, and exposing both as different systematic products of human thought.
As Boetti was well aware, there is, within Islam, a long tradition of mysticism associated with the signs of letters. Over time, many complex mathematical and linguistic systems were devised using the organising principles of sacred geometry or sacred calligraphy for example, to interweave numbers, images and texts into harmonious visual patterns that celebrate and worship the oneness of God. It is this tradition that Arazzo have adapted into the logic of their own creation.

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