Tutti I Pesci Vennero a Galla, 1992

Alighiero Boetti rose to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the Arte Povera group. The movement’s artists were known for working in radically new ways, using simple and natural materials such as slate, wax, wood and felt. Boetti focused on the traditional craft of embroidery that he was introduced to while travelling in Afghanistan in the 1970s. This marked a turning point in his career and it was while there that he developed his “Arrazi” series, multicoloured embroidered word squares, that would later become his most famous works. These mosaic-like grids of letters was the artist’s way of playing with order and disorder. Tutti I Pesci Vennero a Galla is an example of such a work. The letters, read from top to bottom and left to right, spell out the work’s title which translated from Italian means: “all the fish came to the surface.”