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For his sixth solo show at Galleria Massimo Minini, Giulio Paolini has created four new large-scale works. Each room houses a single piece, its title evoking another one previously exhibited by the artist at the same gallery. “The new, unexpected elements in these images nonetheless incorporate the accumulated traces of our shared history,” Paolini writes in a letter to Minini (reproduced on the invitation) which looks back over the long friendship between the gallerist and the artist.

In the first room, titled L’ospite (“The Guest”), four gilded frames hold a photographic view of the artist’s studio, which in turn contains an image of the very space where the work is displayed and where Paolini presented the show by the same name in 1989. All around, other frames on the wall amplify the perspective suggested by the photos.
Next door, Eco (“Echo”) is a large drawing that stretches across two adjacent walls, with a series of squares evoking the sequence of nine elements that made up the work with the same title that was exhibited in Brescia in 1976.
In the third space, four Plexiglas cubes are placed next to each other to form a pedestal for several fragments of plaster casts and pieces of silk, echoing the work Casa di Lucrezio (“House of Lucretius”), which Paolini exhibited at the gallery in 1981.
In the last room, Circo Massimo (“Circus Maximus”) the profile of a figure in formal dress is traced on the wall life-size, holding out the photograph of a toy theater animated by details of artists’ works shown at the gallery in the past; around this, scattered frames present other elements of images that have appeared over the years in the same venue.

The key themes in the artistic career of Giulio Paolini (b. 1940) revolve around the conception, manifestation and vision of the artwork. After early explorations of the basic elements that compose a painting, he came to focus on the act of exhibition, on the work as a catalogue of its own possibilities, on the figure of the artist, and on the gap between the latter and the work, which exists before, after, and beyond him.
Since his first solo show in 1964, Paolini has had countless exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world, including Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma (1976), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1980), the Nouveau Musée in Villeurbanne (1984), the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart (1986), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome (1988), the Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum in Graz (1998), Fondazione Prada in Milan (2003), and the Kunstmuseum in Winterthur (2005).  He has repeatedly been invited to take part in Documenta in Kassel (1972, 1977, 1982, 1992) and the Venice Biennale (1970, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1993, 1995, 1997).