Atto I: Giulio Paolini
“My entire work concentrates on one image, the image produced by our system of focusing (diaphragm) between the space of the painting and that of the object. As if we were within an ideal mirror, which reflects the phenomenon and, simultaneously, allows us to identify what constitutes him." - Giulio Paolini
Tommaso Calabro Gallery is pleased to announce "Atto I: Giulio Paolini", open from April 3rd to May 31st, 2019. Inaugurating a series of exhibitions dedicated to single works of art, the show focuses on Sir Lawrence Dundas and His Grandson, a photographic work executed by Giulio Paolini (Genova, 1940) in 1977. Through the display of a selection of archival documents, "Atto I: Giulio Paolini" offers the opportunity to discover the photographic research of one of the most radical conceptual artists of the twentieth century.
"Sir Lawrence Dundas and His Grandson" shows how Paolini uses photography to investigate the relationship among author, artwork and viewer. The work is based on a photographic reproduction of a namesake painting executed by German artist Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) in c. 1769. Conceived as a conversation piece, it depicts Lawrence Dundas, 1st baronet (1710-1781) in his London dwelling. The Scottish businessman and politician is portrayed in his library, recently decorated by Robert Adam, surrounded by his collection of Dutch paintings. His young nephew, unexpectedly wearing a female outfit, stands next to him and tenderly holds his arm. Through an estranging 'mise en abyme' efffect, Paolini has replaced the canvases hanging in Dundas’ library with the image of Zoffany’s work itself, which is repeated eight times. The single image, which the eye tries to capture, vanishes in the long series of its reproductions, originating a temporal paradox of an immortal time, which turns an instant into eternity.