Ideal Beauty: a Journey through the Art of Giulio Paolini
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One of conceptual art’s greatest stars, the artist plays in first-person and narrates his studies from the inside out. The exhibition of Giulio Paolini for the Fondazione Carriero isn’t just for the public, but is an exercise of introspection, a work of art in itself, focusing on the favourite themes of the artist throughout his 57-year career while arriving within a hair’s breadth of the mystery of creation so indecipherable to the artist himself. “The work exists before the artist does their part, yet they are the first to contemplate it,” writes Paolini, as time itself shifts into a singular synchronous space for him. “I feel like a person moving around in a void, who can’t resist describing it. It’s an evocative void full of memories and values seeking to break the surface,” declares the pioneer of conceptual art. On display are masterpieces from 1961 to today, including new works conceived for the exhibition as well. The itinerary is broken into three sections, as conceived by the artist along with curator Francesco Stocchi: Portraits and Self-Portraits, in which Paolini reinterprets this staple of Western art, On the Surface, which reinterprets the theme of perspective, and One of the Two, an investigation into the myth of the ideal beauty, of doubles and point of view. The exhibition is made even more precious and stunning by the work of set designer Margherita Palli who, in line with Paolini’s love for the theatre, warms up the white spaces of the Fondazione Carriero with scenes inspired by the Wunderkammer of Federico da Montefeltro and the Flemish artist Hans Vredeman de Vries.