Alighiero Boetti

1940

About the artist

Born in Turin, Alighiero Boetti was an Italian conceptual artist, considered to be a member of the Arte Povera movement. He is best known for his series of embroidered maps of the world, 'Mappa,', created between 1971 and 1994. Another one of his famous types of works consist of coloured letters embroidered in grids ('arazzi') on canvas. Upon closer inspection, the letters read as short phrases in Italian, often truisms or wordplays.

Alighiero Boetti is a Blue-Chip artist and his work has always played a primary role in the art market, especially over the last 20 years. In fact, there has been a boom in Boetti's market since 2000. He has very much become a global figure with an international market, and, while the record price for a Boetti was £144,000 at the start of the new millennium, it reached £4.6 million in May 2021. More specifically, according to Artprice, $100 invested in a work by Alighiero BOETTI in 2000 would be worth an average of $1,528 (+ 1428%) in September 2021. Confirming to be a safe haven asset, Boetti’s market has also boomed during the pandemic. Its value has grown by 12.8% in 2020 and its ranking in the art market achieved n. 99, while it was n. 328 in 2000. Geographically, the first market for Boetti is represented by the UK (61.3% of the geographic distribution over the past 10 years).

Selected shows

Boetti took part in two Documentas and five Venice Biennales, and his works were exhibited in major galleries and museums throughout Europe and the United States before his premature death in 1994 as a result of a brain tumor. He has been honored posthumously with seven large-scale exhibitions or retrospectives at significant museums, including the Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein; and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome.

I met Gerhard Richter and Alighiero Boetti when I was a teenager, and I was really inspired by them. When Boetti died, I realized I only vaguely remembered so many things he told me. It was such a pity. Had I only recorded his voice, he would still be with me, and I could listen to it from time to time. — Hans Ulrich Obrist

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