12 April > 31 May 2023
ALIGHIERO E BOETTI
Genesi di un'opera
Curated by Guido Fuga
From an idea of Diego Fuga
Opening 12/04/2023 h 17:00 > 20:00
12/04 > 31/05/2023*
Martelli Fine Art in collaboration with NP-ArtLab
Corso Monforte 23
*Private exhibition space
Tuesday - Thursday, 12.00 - 19.00
or by appointment
"[...] Blue skies where hundreds of aeroplanes hover [...], bring a wave of brilliant madness. There is no title and the authors are doubled, or rather tripled; Alighiero, Boetti and Fuga" wrote Maurizio di Puolo in the article Alighiero Boetti & Guido Fuga that appeared in "Il Messaggero" on 2 December 1977.
Alighiero Boetti began a large series of papers representing aeroplanes in that year, executed in different versions using pencil, watercolour and biro on paper.
As for other works, Boetti collaborates this time with the designer and architect Guido Fuga, a valuable and close collaborator of the famous cartoonist Hugo Pratt.
In this series conceived and executed with Fuga, Boetti gives us access to fundamental aspects of his poetics such as the perception between mobility and stability, between the finite and infinite worlds, which find space within a composition of figurative elements drawn in negative over a monochromatically coloured sky.
The observer is invited to enter this universe poised between the real and the imaginary with lightness, taking us back in time to a playful dimension that is closed to the imagination of childhood until we reach a depth of meaning based on the union-contrast between order and disorder.
The exhibition allows us to go back in time and rediscover the creative process and collaboration between Boetti and Fuga: indeed, the designer gives us access to his personal archive, which consists of sketches on paper, preparatory materials for the creation of the Aerei series, posters, paper invitations and photographs from that period.
These works are presented in a totally new way and have never been collected in an exhibition since now. Among the works, there is Aereo su biro nera from 1977, one of the very first, if not the first, produced by the Boetti-Fuga collaboration.
Confirming Boetti's spirit of openness to collaborations in the exhibition there are some works made in relations with Alitalia, Twinings and Austrian Airlines (the project Cieli ad Alta Quota, a set of 6 puzzles designed in collaboration with Hans Ulrich Obrist).
"Voli Pindarici" is closely linked to a concept of travel, both real and imaginary, which replaces physical mobility with that of the imagination: first of all Arei, but also the postal works on display, like the American conceptual mail art. The idea of departure, but also of return, emerges within these stamped envelopes that expand the sense of time and space. On the handwritten envelopes addresses linked to the Boetti family create a connection with another artwork in the exhibition with a deep sentimental connection, which presents a play of numbers linked to the family's birth dates, 15 and 16, and in the background a series of aeroplanes wandering in the blue.
Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) – or Alighiero and Boetti as signed in 1971 – was born in Turin where he made his debut in the Arte Povera in January 1967.
In 1972 he moved to Rome, a context closer to his predilection for the South of the world. Already in the previous year he discovered Afghanistan and started the artistic work he entrusted to the Afghan embroiderers, including the Maps, the colored planispheres that he will propose over the years, as a register of political changes in the world.
A conceptual artist, versatile and kaleidoscopic, he multiplies the types of works whose execution – in some cases – is delegated with precise rules to other subjects and other hands, following the principle of ‘necessity and chance’: so the Biro (blue , blacks, reds, greens) in which the dotted pattern depicts language; thus the embroideries of letters, small or large, and multicolored; or the Tutto, dense puzzles in which heterogeneous silhouettes are found, including shapes of objects and animals, images taken from magazines and printed paper, and much more, really ‘everything’ (Tutto in italian).
There are also postal works played on the mathematical permutation of the stamps, the haphazard adventure of the postal journey and the secret beauty of the sheets contained in the envelopes.
Another sector of Boetti’s work, unmistakably his own, offers in the early ’70s many’ exercises’ on squared paper, based on musical or mathematical rhythms; then on paper, light compositions in which ranks of animals recalling the Etruscan and Pompeian decoration fow. Time, its fascinating and ineluctable fow, is perhaps the unifying theme of Boetti’s typological and iconographic plurality.
Alighiero Boetti has exhibited in the most emblematic exhibitions of his generation, from When attitudes become form (1969) to Contemporanea (1973), from Identité italienne (1981) to The Italian Metamorphosis 1943-1968 (1994). He is several times present at the Venice Biennale, with a personal room in the 1990 edition, a posthume tribute in 2001 and a large exhibition at the Cini Foundation in the recent edition of 2017.
Among the most signifcant exhibitions of the last few years the great Game Plan retrospective has been realized in three prestigious locations (MOMA in New York, Tate in London, Reina Sofa in Madrid).
Of the ample corpus of works, many Italian and international museums are kept, including the Center Pompidou in Paris, Stedelijk Museum, the MOCA in Los Angeles, etc.).e permanent collections of leading Italian and international museums and many private collections.
Guido Fuga (Venice 1947) in ‘68, student of Architecture, meets Hugo Pratt, and starts a collaboration,
the so-called special effects: bottoms, planes, junks, trains, armoured cars, which he continued until the last stories.
Between '70 and '73 he went twice in India in the legendary Volkswagen, the second trip lasting six months, when Afghanistan was ruled by the king and was the paradise of hippies.
In 1977, in the flat opposite his (it was destiny), as a guest of his friend Gianni Michelagnoli, he met the artist Alighiero Boetti, who was also in love with Afghanistan, he had gone there in '71 and had taken the "One Hotel" in Kabul, a tiny one-room hotel. In a night of smoke and stories, the idea of collaboration was born and they produced the work "Aerei", then in the 1980s the series of watercolours on the same theme "Cieli ad alta quota". He collaborated for a short period with the satirical weekly "IL Male", the best of youth. He curated Pratt's anthological exhibition at the Grand Palais and organised the set-up; after Paris, in Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples and Buenos Aires for "Italiana 86". He collaborated with Mario Schifano on a collection of carpets made in India, a country he continued to visit and where, in addition to carpets, he got marble inlay tables made by craftsmen in Udaipur.
After Hugo Pratt's death in 1997, with "Lele" Vianello, he produced "Corto Sconto", Corto Maltese's guide to Venice for the "Lizard" editions and in French for "Castermann", followed by "Navigar in laguna fra isole fiabe e ricordi" with "Mare di Carta" and "Marco Polo, testimonianze di un viaggio straordinario" with "Linea d'Acqua". In 1999, for a few months, he collaborates with the covers of the programme "Sgarbi quotidiani".
In 2003 for RAISAT Gamberorosso with his colleague Lele Vianello they edit ten episodes about the routes of their book "Navigar in Laguna", then they produce the comic book "Le Ali del leone" in collaboration with the Air Force magazine, again with Lele in 2010 he realized the story "Cubana", a comic inspired by the master Pratt.
In 2018 he made the "Merchant of Venice" diary with watercolours about the traveller in search of the most precious essences. The “Profumo illustrato” exhibition was presented at Palazzo Mocenigo in Venice.
In 2021 he participated with a project to Cleto Munari's "Essenza di marmo" collection of artist's tables.
In 2023, he created 30 tables on the fantastic journey of Nicolò Manucci, which will be presented at Palazzo Vendramin Grimani in the exhibition dedicated to the Venetian traveller from the 29th of April.