It’s interesting to visit Maddox Arts with its current exhibition ‘Border Lines’ and then walk across Brooks Mews to Ben Brown Fine Arts and the current exhibition of work by Alighiero Boetti, focussed on his embroidery which, by its very nature, is created from lines of thread and which, in his Mappas has a direct link with the Maddox Art exhibition.
Do they conspire together or is this just happy serendipity?
Boetti (1940-1994), one of Italy’s greatest modern artists crossed boundaries with his work, integrating both western and eastern cultures, as can be seen with the Farsi text in his work, and his support of Afghan craftsmen who created the embroideries, rugs and tapestries to his designs.
Taking centre stage in the gallery is Senzo Titolo, one of less than 20 rugs that Boetti created – his plan had been for a hundred, but his death in 1994 intervened in this project. Around this are a variety of his different works including the works with texts, in different sizes, for which he is possibly best known. What is astonishing from his Mappas is, when you stretch the Earth’s globe in a different way, how large Canada and Greenland are compared to the United States. What does this subtly say about the future world as the United States’ influence wanes into the future? The world is such as fast-changing place that his Mappas, which typically took two years to create, often show a changing world in flux.
One of his most fascinating works is the Tutto which, from a distance appears a confusing fusion of colours, but close up contains all sorts of different shapes and cultural emblems, all interwined together – breaking down boundaries….