This work is registered with the Archivio Alighiero Boetti, Rome, under the number 88/RT/4 and is accompanied by a photo-certificate.
Among the last group of works that Boetti conceived and produced, the Tutti (Everything) are in many ways the culmination of the artist's work, as they are the most complete and inclusive realisation of the central aesthetic of his art: the principle he called ordine e disordine (order and chaos). Heraclitus once declared the world to be a river in that it was in a constant state of flux but nevertheless always maintained itself as a united, harmonious and single entity. Similarly, Boetti's Tutti attempt to portray the chaotic and myriad nature of 'everything' as a single united whole. A logical and expansive development of the principle of ordine e disordine, which Boetti had developed through his Arazzo tapestries and his Mappa (maps of the world), the Tutto works pushed this principle of order both metaphorically and visually to the limits of disorder. Growing out of a 1980 drawing entitled Perdita d'identita (Loss of Identity) the individual images that make up each Tutto seem to merge into one another so that their individual identity becomes lost amidst an overwhelming sense of the whole.
The motifs that Boetti chose to represent 'everything' were selected from a wide variety of encyclopaedias, textbooks and journals. These images were then converted into stencils which were outlined in ballpoint pen onto the canvas. The finished pattern - which allowed for no empty or blank space between images - was then taken to Afghanistan and later to Peshawar, where Boetti had the works embroidered by Afghan women. The choice of colour was left up to the individual embroiderer, whereby an equal distribution of colour was ensured by issuing the women with a hundred threads of the different colours all cut to the same length, with the stipulation that all of it be used.
Such is the sheer number of forms that Boetti shows in a single Tutto that, as Rolf Lauter has pointed out, the work also 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." (In: Alighiero Boetti. Mettere al mondo il mondo, exh. cat, Museum für Moderne Kunst and Galerie Jahrhunderthalle Hoechst, Frankfurt am Main 1997, p. 93.)