In the present work, a rare sequence of fifteen canvasses is ordered according to a clear syntactical formula - pre-determined by the length of the words, their size and geometric arrangement. They are also, however, inherently disordered in their seemingly unsystematic colour combinations and lack of spacing. Moreover, whilst fourteen of the canvasses share the same four-by-four grid, the final work differs from this compositional structure - a hint of disorder characteristic of Boetti’s multi-partite works. This last canvas is also a typical example of the artist’s use of language, as Segno e Disegno sets up a duality that shows similarity in the appearance of the words, whilst differing in meaning (‘sign’ and ‘drawing’) - a clever and poetic play with words that is repeated throughout the work.
Whereas many artists of this period favoured ideas over execution, the visual appearance of Boetti’s work is as original and striking as its theoretical foundations. Further to his ideas concerning order and disorder, the colour combinations of the individual letters differ across the work, but certain recurring compositions, such as the black on white O, create a visual staccato that gives shape to a certain organisational principle. As Mark Godfrey observed, this approach resulted in a strong formal quality: “Boetti sometimes opens up a new experience in which we read words differently and appreciate the shapes and colours of letters, rather than just approaching language for its information and instrumental purposes” (Mark Godfrey, Alighiero e Boetti, London 2009, pp. 128-9).
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