new-york

Alighiero Boetti, OGGI VENTICINQUESIMO GIORNO OTTAVO MESE DELL ANNO MILLE NOVE 100 OTTANTOTTO ALL AMATO PANTHEON INCONTRI E SCONTRI (Today Twenty-Fifth Day Eighth Month of the Year One Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty-Eight at the Beloved Pantheon Encounters and Clashes), 1988, embroidery on fabric, 40 1/2 x 43 1/2".

Alighiero Boetti

Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

Alighiero Boetti, OGGI VENTICINQUESIMO GIORNO OTTAVO MESE DELL ANNO MILLE NOVE 100 OTTANTOTTO ALL AMATO PANTHEON INCONTRI E SCONTRI (Today Twenty-Fifth Day Eighth Month of the Year One Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty-Eight at the Beloved Pantheon Encounters and Clashes), 1988, embroidery on fabric, 40 1/2 x 43 1/2".

In Mi fuma il cervello (Autoritratto) (My Mind is Burning [Self-Portrait]), 1993, a work made the year before his death, Alighiero Boetti, portrays himself in bronze as a lean fellow holding a garden hose aloft. Steam rises as water hits the heated sculpture’s head, a clue, perhaps, to the artist’s prodigious sense of invention. In becoming a dual personage—a conceit dramatizing the narcissism implicit to artmaking—Boetti styled himself “Alighiero e Boetti,” the e a particule signifying high birth (in his case, the aristocracy of his mind). This embellished name, however, was not used for “La Forza del Centro” (The Force of the Center), an exhibition of 125 of his fabric-mounted Arazzi embroideries from the 1980s and ’90s, the majority of which had never been viewed in public before.

I admit to having reservations about this particular body of work, which arise, in part,

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