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GPE-0006

Self-Portrait

Photo print and pencil inscription

Two photo prints joined on the verso 30 x 47.5 cm inserted in a folding passepartout 50 x 71 cm

Titled on the recto: “Autoritratto” (centre), signed and dated on the verso: “Giulio Paolini 1970”

Autograph numbering on the verso, bottom right

9 in Arabic numerals from 1/9 to 9/9

The slight differences in the way the title is written are due to the fact that the author wrote them by hand for each edition.

Self-produced by the artist

The two photographs placed close together offer a portrait – duplicated mirror-like – of Giulio Paolini as he looks at a sheet he is holding in his hand. In the area corresponding to the sheet, the artist has handwritten the word “Autoritratto” (Self-Portrait), thus identifying the (double) sheet as a self-portrait.
The duplicated portrait of the artist observing a self-portrait – certified by the autograph inscription – is a closed-circuit game of specular doubles. The self-portrait that the artist looks at escapes our gaze: could it be the same one that we are looking at? The actual subject seems to in fact be the very act of looking and looking at oneself: a questioning of one's own identity as both an author and a spectator.
The same iconographical subject was also used in an original version on photo canvas that same year (GPO-0201).

Portrait of Giulio Paolini taken by Anna Piva, 1970.

1974 Leverkusen, Städtisches Museum, Schloss Morsbroich, Die verlorene Identität. Zur Gegenwart des Romantischen, 10 May - 23 June, repr. n. pag.
1974-75 Bonn, Galerie Magers, 28 Selbstportaits, December 1974 - January 1975, repr. n. pag. (with incorrect dimensions “9.24 x 45.5 cm”).
1975 Munich, Galerie Art in Progress, Giulio Paolini, 18 April - 21 May.
1975 Innsbruck, Galerie im Taxispalais, Selbstporträt als Selbstdarstellung, 14 October - 5 November, repr. n. pag.
1976 Parma, Palazzo della Pilotta, Sala delle Scuderie, Giulio Paolini, 11 March - 21 April, not repr.
1985-86 Lausanne, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, L’autoportrait à l’age de la photographie: peintres et photographes en dialogue avec leur propre image, 18 January - 24 March, touring to: Stuttgart, Württembergischer Kunstverein (Das Selbstportrait im Zeitalter der Photographie: Maler und Photographen im Dialog mit sich selbst), 11 April - 9 June; Berlin, Akademie der Künste, 1 September - 6 October; Houston, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery (Self-Portrait in the Age of Photography. Photographers reflecting their own image), 2-30 March 1986; Texas, San Antonio, Traves Park Plaza, 12-27 April 1986, cited in the checklist of exhibited works p. 243, repr. no. 757 p. 198.
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. 7).
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. 7).
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. 7).
1996 Nice, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Arte Povera. Les multiples, 23 March - 16 June, cited in the checklist of exhibited works p. 37, not repr.
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. 7).
1996-97 Bolzano, Museion Museo d’arte moderna, Scritto su foto. La sintesi tra fotografia e parola nell’arte contemporanea, 13 September - 17 November, touring to: Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kunstverein (Foto Text Text Foto. Synthese von Photographie und Text in der Gegenwartskunst), 22 January - 9 March 1997; Winterthur, Fotomuseum Winterthur, 12 April - 1 June 1997, repr. p. 114.
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. 7).
2001 Milan, Association Jacqueline Vodoz et Bruno Danese, Impressions Graphiques. L’opera grafica di Giulio Paolini, 1967-2000, 17 May - 22 June, not repr.
2002 Paris, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Impressions graphiques. L’œuvre graphique de Giulio Paolini 1967-2000, 23 April - 21 May, no catalogue.
2003 Jesi, Palazzo dei Convegni, De te fabula. L’autoritratto contemporaneo, 8 February - 2 March, touring to: Macerata, Pinacoteca Civica and Palazzo Galeotti, 12-30 March, repr. p. 101.
2006 Reggio Emilia, Convento di San Domenico, Al limite. Arte e fotografia tra gli anni Sessanta e Settanta, 29 April - 23 July, cited in the checklist of exhibited works p. 172, repr. p. 69; edition 1/9.
2010-11 Turin, Galleria Giorgio Persano, Geografia senza punti cardinali. La fotografia nell’arte degli anni ’70 in Italia, 6 November 2010 - 29 January 2011, repr. no. 46 p. 65; edition 4/9.
2010-11 Gallarate, MAGA Museo Arte Gallarate, Cosa fa la mia anima mentre sto lavorando? Opere d'Arte Contemporanea dalla Collezione Consolandi, 13 November 2010 - 13 February 2011, cited in the checklist of exhibited works no. 48 p. 237, repr. pp. 108-109; edition 1/9.
2022 Paris, Librairie Marian Goodman, Giulio Paolini. Printed Editions and Multiples (1967-1977), 6 October - 26 November; edition 3/9.
Giulio Paolini, exhibition catalogue (Mannheim: Mannheimer Kunstverein, 1977), repr. p. 11.
Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini (Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992), cat. no. 7, repr.
M. Disch, Giulio Paolini. Catalogo ragionato 1960-1999, vol. 1 (Milan: Skira editore, 2008), cat. no. 201 p. 212, not repr.
Entry by Bettina Della Casa and Maddalena Disch, 14/06/2024