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

Tra sé e sé (...sedici dicembre uno nove quattro zero a Torino...) (Between me and myself (…sixteen December one nine four zero in Turin))

Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994)
Tra sé e sé (...sedici dicembre uno nove quattro zero a Torino...)
(Between me and myself (…sixteen December one nine four zero in Turin))

pencil and collage on paper laid on canvas
59 x 39 3/8in. (150 x 100cm.)
Executed circa 1981
Galerie Eric Franck, Geneva.
Galerie Frank und Schulte, Berlin.
Private Collection, Germany.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1993
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.
Post lot text
This work is registered in the Archivio Alighiero Boetti, Rome, under no. 648.

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Alessandro Diotallevi
Alessandro Diotallevi

Lot Essay

Tra sè e sè, which can be translated as ‘Between self and self’ or ‘Between me and myself’, is the name given to an extensive series of drawings that Boetti made in the 1980s. Related closely to the series of drawings begun in 1980 and entitled La natura, una faccenda ottusa (Nature, a Dull Affair), these works, as their self-reflexive title suggests were made using, and in the space between, two overhead-view drawings of Boetti shown holding a pencil in both hands. The drawing, seemingly shown in the process of being made by a doubled Boetti, is situated along a vertical pencil line drawn between one held pencil and the other.

Here, as in this work, in the space between his two twinned selves –Boetti drew a sequence of other twinned images and texts. These would usually be made either by writing and drawing with both his right and left hands, or by creating a doubled-image by folding one drawing and working on its reflected imagery. This work makes use of one of Boetti’s favourite subjects from the period: gibbons. Made using the child’s technique of spray-painting through a straw over a stencil cut-out, these intensifying animal presences are visible springing around a map-like landscape near the centre of the work.

Animals filled Boetti’s art throughout the 1980s in the form of frogs, cheetahs, lizards, dolphins, antelopes and apes, because for Boetti they were more attuned to the true nature of the world than humans. Indeed, it has been suggested that Boetti made such works as Tra sè e sè often in response to his disillusion with the world of men and the political troubles and divisions of the world. The animals Boetti chose to depict are not symbols of anything but rather examples of what the artist most admired about animals in general; their grace, speed, agility and intelligence. For him, animals had attained the use of their five (or six) senses in the way in which he through his art advocated that man also should aspire to. Animal drawings such as Tra sè e sè, therefore, as its structure and title suggests, are drawings that take place in a private, interior space between the twinned Shaman/Showman artist: Alighiero and Boetti,

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