“First of all I prefer thought. This is the basic thing. I really think manual skill is secondary. . . . It’s taking things from reality. Everything, however small and humble, always has a beginning and stems from reality.”

“I had been going in one direction. . . . Then I began to doubt this direction. In the spring of 1969 I left the studio in Turin. It had become a depot for materials. I left all of this as it was and began again from zero with a pencil and a sheet of paper.”

“I went to a supplier of building materials. It was thrilling to see the wonderful things that were there! Seeing all these materials filled me with such crazy enthusiasm, in the end it turned to nausea! But still, some of the best moments in Arte Povera were hardware shop moments.”

“For me, the work on the embroidered maps achieved the highest form of beauty. For the finished work, I myself did nothing, in the sense that the world is as it is (I didn’t draw it) and the national flags are as they are (I didn’t design them). In short, I did absolutely nothing. What emerges from the work is the concept.”

“I have done a lot of work which presents a visual disorder that is actually the representation of a mental order. It’s just a question of knowing the rules of the game. Someone who doesn’t know them will never see the order that reigns in things. It’s like looking at a starry sky. Someone who does not know the order of the stars will see only confusion, whereas an astronomer will have a very clear vision of things.”

“Many people send letters, using the postage stamps unaware of their design, color and placement. Many people travel and document their experiences without being conscious that they are making art.”

“Often when I draw I use both of my hands. Normally I am right-handed. When I draw with my left hand it is a kind of conversation with myself exploring the positive and the negative, the ego and alter ego, the order and disorder and mounting it on paper. It is as if on one hand there is Alighiero and on the other, Boetti.”

“Do you know why dates are so important? Because if you write, say, ‘1970’ on a wall, it seems like absolutely nothing, but in thirty years’ time . . . Dates have this beauty: the more time passes, the more beautiful they become.”

Catasta (Stack)
frou frou
Untitled (Invitation)
Lampada annuale (Annual Lamp)
Mancorrente metri 2 (2 Meter Handrail)
Mimetico (Camouflage)
Panello luminoso (Light Panel)
Scala (Ladder)
Zig Zag
Dama (Checkerboard)
I Vedenti (The Sighted)
Città di Torino (City of Turin)
Colonna (Column)
Cubo (Cube)
Ghise (ABoetti) (Cast Iron [ABoetti])
Legnetti colorati (Little Colored Sticks)
Gemelli (Twins)
Scrittura graffita (Scraped Writing)
Autoritratto (Self-Portrait)
Cimento dell'armonia e dell'invenzione (Contest of Harmony and Invention)
Dossier postale (Postal Dossier)
Io che prendo il sole a Torino il 19 gennaio 1969 (Me Sunbathing in Turin 19 January 1969)
Niente da vedere niente da nascondere (Nothing to See Nothing to Hide)
Planisfero politico (Political Planisphere)
Senza titolo (Untitled)
Territori occupati (Occupied Territories)
Viaggi postali (Postal Voyages)
Emme I Elle Elle E . . .
Emme I Elle Elle E . . .
Identifications: Alighiero Boetti. Untitled - Turin September 24, 1970
La Mole Antonelliana
Lavoro postale (permutazione) (Postal work [permutation])
Per una storia naturale della misurazione (Towards a Natural History of Measurement)
16 Dicembre 2040 - 11 Luglio 2023 (December 16, 2040 - July 11, 2023)
16 Dicembre 2040 - 11 Luglio 2023 (December 16, 2040 - July 11, 2023)
Dodici forme dal 10 giugno 1967 (Twelve forms from July 10, 1967)
Mappa (Map)
One Hotel, Kabul, Afghanistan
Serie di merli dispositi a intervalli regolari lungo gli spalti di una muraglia (Series of battlements displayed in regular intervals along the ramparts of a wall)
I vedenti (The Sighted)
24 lettere dall'Afghanistan (24 Letters From Afghanistan)
Mettere al mondo il mondo (Bringing the World into the World)
Ordine e Disordine (Order and Disorder)
Sale e zucchero (Salt and Sugar)
I sei sensi (The Six Senses)
Insicuro Noncurante (Insecure Nonchalante)
Storia naturale della moltiplicazione (Natural History of Multiplication)
Gli anni della mia vita (The Years of My Life)
Tapestry of the Thousand Longest Rivers of the World
Alternando da uno a cento e vice versa (Alternating One to One Hundred and Vice Versa)
Calendari (Calendars)
Regno animale (Animal Kingdom)
Mappa (Map)
Ordine e disordine (Order and Disorder)
Regno delle carte (tra sé e sé) (Paper Kingdom [Between Self and Self])
Regno musicale (Music Kingdom)
L'albero delle ore (Tree of Hours)
La natura, una faccenda ottusa (Nature, A Dull Affair)
La natura, una faccenda ottusa (Nature, A Dull Affair)
Clessidra, cerniera e vice versa (Hourglass, Hinge and Vice Versa)
Aerei (Airplanes)
Dicembre 1983 (December 1983)
Rotolo di cartone ondulato 2 (Roll of Corrugated Cardboard 2)
Tra sé e sé (Between Self and Self)
Map of the World
Mappa (Map)
Mappa (Map)
Oggi dodicesimo giorno sesto mese anno mille novecento ottantanove (Today the Twelfth Day of the Sixth Month of the Year Nineteen Eighty-nine)
Senza titolo (nero su bianco, bianco su nero) (Untitled [black on white, white on black])
Orme (Footprints)
Tutto (Everything)
Alternando da uno a cento e vice versa (Alternating One to a Hundred and Vice Versa)
Autoritratto (Self-Portrait)
Tutto (Everything)