This work is registered in the Archivio Boetti, Rome, under no. 2901.
A central tenet of Sufism -the mystical tradition of Islam that so captivated and inspired Boetti- is its notion of truth being in essence both devoid of form and yet also inherent within and thereby inseparable from all the forms of life, both material and spiritual. It is this essentially mystic notion of the holistic presence of a single unifying principle at work within the myriad diversity of all the forms of life that determines the Tutto, Boetti's last great series of embroidered pictures made throughout the 1980s and early '90s.
The culmination of an aesthetic principle that informed Boetti's work throughout his life, the Tutto were the final realization of a principle first posited in an important conceptual sculpture of 1967 and which later evolved from a series of drawings on the theme of autonomous creation such as Perdita d'Identità (Loss of Identity) or Tra sé e sé (Within Oneself). In these works that also explored the borderlines between figuration and abstraction Boetti generated pictorial sequences of simple and familiar objects created in silhouette whose formal outlines intersected with one another, each shape ultimately therefore giving rise to the next so that ultimately the work became self-determining.
With the Tutti, Boetti employed assistants to derive a canvas design literally filled with such intersecting forms, this design was then, like his earlier Mappe and Arazzi sent to Afghan refugees in Peshawar to be made -each shape being coloured, arbitrarily, by the women who wove them. 'These women' Boetti observed are extraordinarily tasteful in their choice of colours. I simply say to them "use all your colours" -there are one hundred in all. I would not have been able to supervise the choice of all the colours. I find myself facing thousand-years-old culture and when I have one hundred embroidered versions made... then there are one hundred women who carry out the work and each has a taste of her own' (Alighiero Boetti, quoted in Alighiero Boetti, exh cat., Frankfurt Am Main, 1998).
Boetti's final Tutto was a monumental rectangular-shaped canvas over six meters long now belonging to the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, that the artist commissioned to complete the series in 1993 at a time when he knew he was terminally ill. As the then director of this museum, Rolf Lauter wrote in the memorial exhibition catalogue of Boettis's work not long afterwards, as a series therefore, the Tutto stand 'as a kind of substantive end-point in Boetti's oeuvre... Tutto is the sum of all human experiences and things, while nevertheless remaining only a section cut from the large whole that is the world. Tutto is the language of the world, forms and colours, languages and signs. Tutto stands for the impossibility of consciously perceiving everything visible. Tutto links the organic to the inorganic world. Tutto is the order in disorder and the disorder in order. Tutto is the symbolic unity of body and mind, the connection of East and West, South and North. Tutto is a symbol for unlimited human creativity. Tutto is the fragment and the multiplicity of the world. Tutto is the structure of both macrocosm and microcosm' (Rolf Lauter, op. cit., p. 93).