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GPO-0033

Index

Ink on paper laid down on masonite panel

45 x 35 cm

Signed and dated on the verso on a white paper square: “Giulio Paolini 1963”

Fondazione Giulio e Anna Paolini, Turin

Gift of the artist, 25 October 2012, archive no. GPO-0033

A line made with black ink outlines a sheet of graph paper, trimmed along the vertical sides and stretched across a masonite support. On the verso is the word "Indice" (Index), cut out from the pages of a book.
This work is part of a group of works (from GPO-0028 to GPO-0049) whose common denominator is the presence of an intervention on both the recto and the verso of the painting. Surfaces of various types take turns appearing on the recto (painted paper, graph paper, photographic reproductions, shaped
wooden panels), while on the verso (hidden from view) we find the details of images and printed words taken from magazines or from books. The title, when specified, refers to a textual element present on the verso. The artist explains that: “Just as on the surface various elements alternate amongst themselves, but always remain ‘blind’, in the sense that they tend not to supply an image, but are there for their own sake, occupying that given space, so the title itself is absolutely autonomous with respect to the surface [...], constituted by a fragment of words and, at times, images, following the signature and the date, on a white paper square on the back of the picture” (1972).1 The subtraction of the painting from its function as a vehicle for an image is a continuation of the study experimented with in some previous works that focus on a subject that, albeit mentioned, remains an unexpressed presence: the title refers to something that isn't visible (in that it is applied to the verso), while the recto presents a mute image or in any case one that is free from any rational relationship with the title.

1 G. Paolini in G. Celant, Giulio Paolini (New York: Sonnabend Press, 1972), p. 34 (revised translation); republished in Giulio Paolini 1960-1972, edited by G. Celant (Milan: Fondazione Prada, 2003), p. 122; reprint (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2019), p. 34. Cf. also the artist's remarks in C. Lonzi, Autoritratto (Bari: De Donato Editore, 1969), p. 367; reprint (Milan: Et al./Edizioni, 2010), p. 280; English edition (Brussels-London: Divided Publiishing, 2021), p. 320.

G. Paolini in G. Celant, Giulio Paolini (New York: Sonnabend Press, 1972), pp. 30-31; republished in Giulio Paolini 1960-1972, edited by G. Celant (Milan: Fondazione Prada, 2003), p. 122; reprint (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2019).
G. Paolini, Idem (Turin: Giulio Einaudi editore, 1975), repr. p. 11 (recto).
F. Poli, Giulio Paolini (Turin: Lindau, 1990), repr. no. 60 (recto).
A. Zevi, Peripezie del dopoguerra nell’arte italiana (Turin: Giulio Einaudi editore, 2005), p. 287, not repr.
M. Disch, Giulio Paolini. Catalogo ragionato 1960-1999, vol. 1 (Milan: Skira editore, 2008), cat. no. 33 p. 70, col. repr. (recto and verso).
Entry by Maddalena Disch , 23/02/2024