Alighiero e Boetti was born in Turin, Italy in 1940. Although not formally trained in art, Boetti was preoccupied with the theory of creativity from an early age. Traveling to Afghanistan at the beginning of the 1970s, he was introduced to the traditional craft of embroidery, which marked a turning point in the artist's career. His fundamental concern with the relationship between "order" and "disorder" is manifest in his grid structures, derived from the "magical squares," that feature sayings and aphorisms that stem from cultural, philosophical, mathematical and linguistic contexts.
Having shown in Milan and Turin, Boetti had his first US solo exhibition in New York at John Weber Gallery in 1973. He continued to show throughout Italy and the United States until his premature death in 1994.
He has been honored post-humously with several large-scale exhibitions, most notably at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Vienna in 1997 and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main in 1998. The 2001 exhibition with Gagosian Gallery was organized in conjunction with the Archivo Boetti in Rome, their first collaboration with a commercial gallery, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.