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Henri Matisse: Portrait d’homme, 1971

GPE-0007

Lithograph

57 x 47.5 cm

Titled, signed and dated on the recto: “Henri Matisse: Portrait d’homme” (below the image), “Giulio Paolini 1971” (bottom right)

Autograph numbering on the recto, bottom left

100 in Arabic numerals from 1/100 to 100/100
35 artist’s proofs in Arabic numerals from 1/35 (p.a.) to 35/35 (p.a.)

Galleria La Salita, Rome

The print is part of the activity of the Galleria La Salita, Rome – directed by Gian Tomaso Liverani – which, from when it was first created in 1957, accompanied its exhibition activity with the production of graphic editions. Paolini's collaboration with Liverani dates to 1964, when the Roman art dealer hosted the first solo show of the emerging Turin artist, constituted by a series of natural wood panels propped up against or hanging on the wall.

The print reproduces Henri Matisse's lithograph Self-Portrait (1948), from which Paolini has omitted the original signature and instead added, in his own handwriting, at the bottom of the image, the title “Henri Matisse: Portrait d’homme” (Henri Matisse: Portrait of a Man).
By changing the title Paolini transforms the self-portrait into a generic male portrait, subtracting from the author his individual identity. At the same time, by means of the title written in autograph calligraphy, he overlaps and identifies with the artificer.
In this sense, the work is part of Paolini's distinctive research strand from 1970-71, which focuses on the Borgesian idea of interchangeable identity and on questioning the concept of authorship (cf. for example
Francis Picabia: Senza titolo, 1917, 1970, GPO-0197, and Un quadro, 1970, GPO-0204).
If we consider the artist's great esteem for Matisse, the work is also a homage to the French painter, believed by Paolini to be “the artist of artists”.
1

1 G. Paolini in conversation with B. Della Casa, 27 February 2022.

Henri Matisse, Autoportrait de trois-quarts, 1948, lithographic print, 37 x 28.5 cm; reproduction from I Maestri del Colore. Matisse 50 (Milan: Fratelli Fabbri Editori, 1965), plate 1.

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. 5).
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. 5).
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. 5).
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. 5).
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. 5).
1999 Rome, Istituto Nazionale per la grafica, Calcografia, Il dono Liverani. Collane e perle della Galleria La Salita. Edizioni di grafica contemporanea 1957-1985, 13-24 April, no catalogue.
2001 Milan, Association Jacqueline Vodoz et Bruno Danese, Impressions Graphiques. L’opera grafica di Giulio Paolini, 1967-2000, 17 May - 22 June, not repr.
2006 Turin, Galleria “èArte”, Paolini, Penone, Pistoletto, 7 February - 18 March.
G. Paolini, La verità in quattro righe e novantacinque voci, edited by S. Risaliti (Turin: Giulio Einaudi editore, 1996), p. 35, entry "Autoritratto”.
Impressions graphiques. L’opera grafica 1967-1992 di Giulio Paolini (Turin: Marco Noire Editore, 1992), cat. no. 5, col. repr. (artist’s proof 22/35).
G. Celant, Un folle amore. La Collezione Luigi e Peppino Agrati (Milan: Skira Editore, 2002), cat. no. 395 p. 404, not repr. (artist’s proof 12/35).
L’arte moderna in Intesa Sanpaolo. La collezione Luigi e Peppino Agrati, edited by C. Pirovano and F. Tedeschi (Milan: Electa, 2012), cat. no. 369 p. 303 (entry by K. McManus), col. repr. (artist’s proof 12/35).
La donazione Bianca e Mario Bertolini, edited by C. Baldacci and D. Giacon (Cinisello Balsamo: Museo del Novecento and Silvana Editoriale, 2015), col. repr. in the list of works from the Donation p. 166 (edition 26/100).
Entry by Bettina Della Casa and Maddalena Disch, 14/06/2024