Overview

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Giulio Paolini (b. 1940)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED ITALIAN GENTLEMAN
Giulio Paolini (b. 1940)

Clio

Details
Giulio Paolini (b. 1940)
Clio
signed, titled and dated 'Giulio Paolini Clio 1977-78' (on the stretcher of the right panel), respectively numbered '1-3' (on the reverse)
pencil and photo emulsion on canvas, in three parts
each: 43 3/8 x 31½in. (110 x 80cm.)
overall: 43 3/8x 94½in. (110 x 240cm.)
Executed in 1977-1978
Provenance
Galleria Christian Stein, Turin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1980.
Literature
M. Disch, Giulio Paolini. Catalogo ragionato 1960-1982, Milan 2008, vol. I, no. 377 (illustrated in colour, p. 382).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Anne Elisabeth Spittler
Anne Elisabeth Spittler

Lot Essay

The art that Giulio Paolini made in the 1970s was centred upon two lines of research into the myths and complexities of representation: perspective and the theme of the double. Clio, a large triptych executed between 1977 and 1978, is a major work from this period that draws on both these lines of research and integrates them into one endlessly reflective or mimetic image that exposes its own artifice. Comprising of three separate panels, it depicts two drawings of a statue of the Greek goddess of History, Clio, standing in a room outlined in traditional perspective - each statue a mirror image of the other and presented gazing at the central panel. In the central panel, a photocopy of each of these drawings has been affixed to two canvases that hang side by side in the centre of the room. In this way the entre triptych becomes a mimetic tableau looking in on itself as it exposes the innate artifice in its varying methods of representation.
As Paolini has explained in this respect: 'The plaster cast and the photograph are equivalents for me because they represent two techniques which reproduce models of images. Even though they are different materials, they have the same function - to produce a simulacrum. A photograph and a plaster cast tend to give an absolute illusion of another thing, but I have always been careful to reveal the material itself. In other words, a photograph is a skin, an intangible diaphragm which provides you with this miracle of representation of something. However, it is also a piece of paper. Similarly, a plaster cast can reproduce something which is in Greece. Yet, plaster is also a material you can touch and therefore when it breaks it is revealed for what it is. It becomes an image not of what it recounts but what it truly is.' ('Guilio Paolini : Interview with Susan Taylor in The Print Collector's Newsletter no 5, New York, November/December 1984.)
Drawing on these various common modes of representation, this work, like so many of Paolini's greatest works from this period asks complex questions about the nature of looking and seeing, perception and understanding by presenting a series of manifestly artificial representations of things seemingly observing themselves.

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