GIULIO PAOLINI (Genoa, 1940)
Giulio Paolini work has been distinguished, since his earliest forays into art, by research that prefers the conceptual enquiry over investigation of matter.
In the mid-Sixties, his poetic began to delve into the identity of art, analysing the role of the artist/author, the phases in the creative process, and the representational space. His early production destructures the artwork, starting from its constituent elements: Paolini analyses the painter’s tools and separates the image from its support, presenting frames, papers, canvases and colours assembled with minimal intervention.
His ‘practice’ – which has yielded numerous written works besides his art – can be read as an uninterrupted reflection on the power of images and on the relationship between work of art, author and public in the viewing space.
In his installations, Paolini interrogates the materic existence of art via such focused expedients as citation and duplication and using techniques that range from drawing to photography, collage and plaster casting. Assonances with the history of art and with a common iconography are frequent in his works, many of which would establish direct relationships with past masters (from the artists of Classical antiquity to those of the Renaissance and beyond) and suggest a shift in understanding of the act of seeing: from mere contemplation to reflection, since the work of art resides in the experience the spectator makes of it.