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AH 379

Ilaria Gianni Journal Entries – Benjamin Belovich

1. Senza Titolo (Panthers), Alighiero Boetti, 1987, Arte Povera

This is an incredibly deep and meaningful piece by Italian artist Alighiero Boetti. Mostly an artist

who works with three-dimensional space and sculpture (as seen is his other works such as Zig Zag,

Cubo and Dama), this is a painting from the Arte Povera period. Upon first glance, our eyes are drawn

to the focal point which is obviously the red circle, of a medium thickness and placed by the artist

just off centre left of the canvas. Inside the circle in yellow, as well as placed in a linear and flowing

motion around the canvas, we are also able to see watercolour like smudges resembling running

panthers (hence the title I am assuming). Starting in yellow and purple wash on the left of the canvas,

they slowly become a darker shade of purple as we move to the right side of the canvas. There are

also linear handwriting marks which also follow the flow of the running panthers.

This piece is relatively hard to interpret. However, painted during the Arte Povera movement

of the 1960s-1970s where artists began attacking the values of established institutions of government,

industry, and culture, this could perhaps be an attack and fierce criticism by the artist at wildlife

hunting for personal gain.

Untitled (Panthers), Alighiero Boetti, 1987

AH 379
Ilaria Gianni Journal Entries – Benjamin Belovich

2. Senza Titolo (Triplo Igloo), Mario Merz, 1984 – 2002, Arte Povera, MAXXI Roma

This large installation in glass, iron, clay, neon blue, is in my opinion, one of the most important

projects Mario Merz as well as the Arte Povera movement. These three igloos are constructed from

glass, and decreasing in size, are inside one another. It can be thought about as an archetypal spatial

structure which represents the minimal housing units that are used in the northern parts of the world

by the Inuit tribes. I believe that it was chosen by the artist as an experiment, in a way, a research

path that has a primary starting point and is controversial meeting point between nature and man-

made devices. The semi-spherical shape of the three concentric domes, thanks to the use of glass

sheets, refers to the image of the celestial vault. There are also further references to the idea of

progressive tension towards the infinite determined by the presence of the neon tubes that reproduce

the figures of the Fibonacci mathematical sequence. The form of this piece persists to the end in its

artistic visual journey and is witnessed through numerous examples made from time to time using

constantly changing techniques, dimensions and materials, suggested to the artist by the different

situations and places in which he operated. Architecture and precariousness, internal and external,

physical and mental space, organic and inorganic, the igloo constitutes the sum of a circular thought

supported by a persistent dialectic between opposing elements.

Senza Titolo (Triplo Igloo), Mario Merz, 1984 – 2002, Arte Povera, MAXXI Roma