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“Living, Working, Playing”

Alighiero Boetti and Salvo, two of the most original figures on the Italian artistic scene in the second half of the twentieth century, began their activity in the late 1960s in Turin, a city that was characterized by strong intellectual ferment at the time. Indeed, that was where they shared a studio in Corso Principe Oddone 88 from 1969 to 1971. This exhibition tells the story of a friendship and an artistic “tug-of-war” that was fuelled by countless experimentations: photographs, words, embroideries, paintings, and drawings, but also journeys and other adventures. In that short but intense season the two artists pondered, albeit with different meanings, the representation of the Self: Boetti was oriented towards a precise formulation of his own identity as an artist as it related to time, a dimension he worked on constantly. For Salvo, the years between the 1960s and the 1970s corresponded to a moment of ironic self-historicization, involving the assumption of his own Self as an underlying theme of the work. A second section of the exhibition focuses on the later developments in the two artists’ research, which by then they were carrying out independently of one another. In the distance that was gradually being created between them starting in 1972, the year Boetti moved to Rome, a common interest in certain specific themes—such as identity and the elsewhere—persisted. However, the conception of the two-dimensional surface, for Boetti, and painting, for Salvo, was what separated them once and for all. From the mid-1970s, Salvo devoted himself to painting in a totalizing manner, while Boetti was more oriented towards the conceptual practice of proliferation and proxy, that is, assigning the creation of his works to assistants.

Boetti and Salvo continue to be figures of reference for the new generations of Post-Conceptual artists in the twenty-first century.