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Plywood panel covered with laminated plastic, hook, nylon thread

260 x 130 cm

Edition 1: Signed and dated on the verso, on the upper edge: “Giulio Paolini 1964”

The existence of two (unnumbered) editions dates to the original project for the work, which involved two panels situated close together.

1 Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Weimar
2 Fondazione Giulio e Anna Paolini, Turin
1 Gift of Paul Maenz, 1993, inventory no. PM G 33
2 Gift of the artist, 25 October 2012, archive no. GPO-0060

The origin of the work dates to a group exhibition that was never held, which was planned by the Galleria Il Punto in Turin in 1964. The project involved two wooden panels covered in white plastic laminate placed on the ground so as to create a large square. The plan was for a chain with a hook – of the kind used at the time to hang paintings – to drop down from the top of each panel, thus identifying the work as a "wall" on which the "painting" was missing. Later, the two elements were separated and presented once more without the chains that had been planned originally, or with a hook at the end of a nylon thread hanging down from the upper part of the plywood sheet.
In 1970, on the occasion of the Venice Biennale, Paolini at first considered making another version of the work, using a plastered panel like the wall of the exhibition space at the Biennale. At the last minute he changed his mind, but the work remained listed in the checklist of works.

1 La Biennale di Venezia. 35a Biennale internazionale d’arte (Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 1970), p. 72. Cf. also the artist's indications in the letter he wrote on 19 April 1970 to Valeriano Pastor: "Lastly, I ask that a wooden panel be built, which I will prop up against one of the walls (6/7 cm thick in natural wood, base 200 cm, height and surface in white plaster like the walls)" (ASAC, "Arti Visive" Series, Folder no. 174, File “Catalogo corrispondenza: lettera di Paolini, Torino 19.4.1970”).

1967 Turin, Galleria Christian Stein, Giulio Paolini, from 8 November.
1986 Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Giulio Paolini, 20 September - 2 November, cited in the checklist of exhibited works vol. 4 no. 5 p. 51, repr. vol. 1 p. 39; edition indicated as “1” in this entry.
1990 Madrid, Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Memoria del futuro. Arte italiano desde las primeras vanguardias a la posguerra, October - December, cited in the checklist of exhibited works p. 512 (with incorrect dimensions), repr. p. 457 (installation at the artist’s home); edition indicated as “2” in this entry.
1999 Weimar, Neues Museum, Auffrischender Wind aus wechselnden Richtungen. Internationale Avantgarde seit 1960: Die Sammlung Paul Maenz, 1 January - 31 December, repr. no. 74 p. 113, catalogue entry by H. Dickel p. 112; edition indicated as “1” in this entry.
2018-19 Milan, Fondazione Carriero, Giulio Paolini. Del bello ideale, 26 October 2018 - 10 February 2019, col. repr. vol. 1 pp.134-135 (exhibition view). b/n repr. vol. 1 p. 155; edition indicated as "2" in this entry.
2019 Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Mostre in mostra. Roma contemporanea dagli anni Cinquanta ai Duemila/1, 30 May - 28 July, no catalogue; edition indicated as “2” in this entry.
G. Celant, Giulio Paolini (New York: Sonnabend Press, 1972), pp. 34, 38, repr. no. 31 p. 39; republished in Giulio Paolini 1960-1972, edited by Id. (Milan: Fondazione Prada, 2003), pp. 126, 134; reprint (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2019).
G. Paolini, Idem (Turin: Giulio Einaudi editore, 1975), repr. p. 15.
M. Fagiolo, “Glossario”, in Giulio Paolini (Parma: Università di Parma, Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione, 1976), p. 27, repr. no. 43.
Giulio Paolini, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 1980, repr. p. 15 (installation at the artist’s home).
L’avanguardia plurale. Italia 1960-70, exhibition catalogue, Pescara, Centro di Servizi Culturali, 1983, repr. p. 17.
Giulio Paolini, vol. Images/Index (Villeurbanne: Le Nouveau Musée, 1984), repr. p. 15 (installation at the artist’s home).
G. Paolini, Suspense. Breve storia del vuoto in tredici stanze (Florence: Hopeful Monster editore, 1988), repr. p. 167 (installation at the artist’s home).
Giulio Paolini, exhibition catalogue, Rome, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Milan-Rome: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore and De Luca Edizioni d’Arte, 1988), repr. p. 102 (installation at the artist’s home).
Italian Art in the Twentieth Century. Painting and Sculpture 1900-1988, exhibition catalogue, London, Royal Academy of Arts (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1989), repr. p. 304.
Die Sammlung Paul Maenz Neues Museum Weimar. Band I: Objekte, Bilder, Installationen (Weimar/Ostfildern-Ruit: Neues Museum and Hatje Cantz Verlag, 1999), repr. p. 113 cat. no. 74, entry by H. Dickel p. 112.
Giulio Paolini 1960-1972, op. cit. (Milan: 2003), repr. p. 125.
G. de Marchis, Album di viaggio in quarant’anni di arte italiana: 1960-2000 (Turin: Umberto Allemandi & C., 2005), p. 152, repr. p. 85.
M. Disch, Giulio Paolini. Catalogo ragionato 1960-1999, vol. 1 (Milan: Skira editore, 2008), cat. no. 60 pp. 92-93, repr.
A. Portesio, “‘Quello che per il pittore è la squadratura della tela, per lo scrittore è l’incipit’. L’arte di Giulio Paolini raccontata da Italo Calvino. Con un’intervista a Giulio Paolini”, in Avanguardia 14, no. 40 (Rome), June, 2009, p. 81, repr. p. 83.
Giulio Paolini. Del Bello ideale, exhibition catalogue, Milan, Fondazione Carriero (London: Koenig Books, 2019), repr. vol. 2 p. 44 (installation at the artist's studio).
Entry by Maddalena Disch , 23/02/2024