Alighiero Boetti - New Now London Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Galleria Seno, Milan
    Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich
    Phillips, London, Contemporary Art Day Sale, 11 February 2014, lot 161
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    The motif of Aeroplanes has been a crucial and recurrent theme in the works of Alighiero Boetti. It is hard not to consider the artist’s interest for planes as being associated to his frequent travels to places like Afghanistan, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Japan, Peshawar. Additionally, Boetti had been a vivid collector of plane illustrations which he would find in newspapers, and subsequently trace out. This led him to create his Aerei (1978-1989) series, which were executed in ballpoint pen or watercolour and were produced in partnership with architect and illustrator, Guida Fuga. The series featured hand drawn planes of all shapes and sizes which criss-crossed the sky, soaring and dipping to create a scene that appeared at once visually chaotic, yet beautifully orchestrated.

    Cieli ad alta quota, 1988 is a charming example of his plane works and is unique in showing a more restful composition compared to his other plane works, as much fewer planes are depicted in the present lot. This work was also seminal in the creation of works Boetti conceived later on in his career. Indeed, the artist made a variation of this work which was published in Austrian Airlines’ in-flight magazine and created in the form of jigsaw puzzles.

    In the present lot, each plane seems to be flying in a specific area and different directions, which suggests the potential for expansion as they continue beyond the picture plane. It is an image of the world ‘beyond borders’- an illustration which Boetti saw as a freedom existing above the earth. The present lot is an image in which the passage is more paramount than the destination, with each plane having its own place and yet having no coherent one either.


Cieli ad alta quota

pencil, watercolour on paper laid down on canvas
30 x 42.5 cm. (11 3/4 x 16 3/4 in.)
Signed 'Alighiero Boetti' on the reverse.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Head of Sale
+44 207 318 4065

New Now

London Auction 13 April 2016