conceptual art, conceptual textile art, arte povera

This Thursday in London Christie’s presents “The Italian Sale“, an auction featuring icons of the Arte Povera movement — including works by Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994). The work above (shown cropped, approximately 11″ square, with an auction estimate of $40,000 – $56,000) is an example of what Wikipedia describes below:

…One of the better known types of his works consists of colored letters embroidered in grids (“arazzi”, meaning wall hangings or tapestries) on canvases of varying sizes, the letters upon closer inspection reading as short phrases in Italian, for instance Ordine e Disordine (“Order and Disorder” or: “Order is Disorder”) or Fuso Ma Non Confuso (“Mixed but not mixed up”), or similar truisms and wordplays. To create these pictures, Boetti worked with artisan embroiderers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to whom he gave his designs but increasingly handed over the process of selecting and combining the colors and thus deciding the final look of the work.

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