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Senza titolo (“Beati e felici sono i vostri occhi, perché vedono, e le vostre orecchie, perché ascoltano”), 1970

GPE-0005

Untitled (“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear”)

Lithograph

42.5 x 30.5 cm

Signed and dated on the recto, bottom right: “Giulio Paolini 1970”

Autograph numbering on the recto, bottom left

150 in Arabic numerals from 1/150 to 150/150
45 in Roman numerals from I/VL [sic] a VL/VL

Edizioni Flash Art / Labirinto, Rome

The print is part of the portfolio Seven Italian Artists at the XXXV Venice Biennale, produced by Giancarlo Politi – director of Edizioni Flash Art and of the art journal of the same name – on the occasion of the 35th Venice Biennale. The portfolio includes one work by each of the seven Italian artists invited to show their works in the "Italia" section at the Padiglione Centrale in the Giardini di Castello: Carlo Battaglia, Agostino Bonalumi, Nicola Carrino, Sergio Lombardo, Maurizio Mochetti, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Verna.

Originally, the print was contained, along with six other prints, in a folder (closed format 42.8 x 31.5 cm) that included a cover sheet with a portrait and selected exhibitions of the artists; for Paolini there is also the quote, with its source, transcribed in the print.

The phrase featured at the top of the sheet, taken from the Gospel According to Matthew, reads: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear”.
The choice of words references the artist's interest in the concept of identity, which he explored in particular around 1970. For Paolini, the phrase taken from the New Testament "decrees identity in sight and in hearing, as proof of non-nominal existence".1 He offsets the generic character of the subject evoked in the quote with a personal impression via the transcription of the text in autograph calligraphy. The empty surface of the blank sheet and the absence of a visual datum amplify the mystery implicit in the text, just as the senses of sight and hearing call into play a metaphysical dimension that transcends language.
The print continues a theme developed in two works from the previous year, made up of two other quotes, similar in content, taken from the
Ad Autolycus of Theophilus of Antioch (”Ora, se tu mi dici......”, GPO-0176) and from the Holy Bible (”La gloria di Dio è di celare le cose...”, GPO-0186).

1 G. Paolini in conversation with B. Della Casa, 12 December 2021.

Quotation from the Holy Bible, Gospel of Matthew (25,2).

1992 Bonn, Bonner Kunstverein, Giulio Paolini. Impressions graphiques. Das graphische Werk 1967-1992, 24 February - 29 March (catalogue Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini [Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992], cat. no. 6).
1993 Winterthur, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Giulio Paolini. Impressions graphiques. Das druckgraphische Werk 1967-1992, 16 January - 7 March (catalogue Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini [Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992], cat. no. 6).
1995 Lisbon, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian / Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão, Giulio Paolini. Impressions graphiques. Múltiplos e Obra Gráfica 1969-1995, 16 March - 28 May, not repr. in the exhibition brochure (catalogue Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini [Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992], cat. no. 6).
1996 Apolda, Kunsthaus Apolda Avantgarde, Giulio Paolini. Impressions graphiques, 27 September - 27 October (catalogue Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini [Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992], cat. no. 6).
1997 Göppingen, Kunsthalle, Giulio Paolini. Impressions graphiques. Das graphische Druckwerk 1967-1995, 9 March - 13 April (catalogue Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini [Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992], cat. no. 6).
2006 Turin, Galleria “èArte”, Paolini, Penone, Pistoletto, 7 February - 18 March.
Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini (Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992), cat. no. 6, repr.
M. Disch, Giulio Paolini. Catalogo ragionato 1960-1999, vol. 1 (Milan: Skira editore, 2008), cat. no. 176 p. 194, not repr.
Entry by Bettina Della Casa and Maddalena Disch, 14/06/2024