Giulio Paolini

Fondazione Prada | Milan

A small white canvas is barely defined by the diagonals and compass points that demarcate its space, like a sheet of paper prepared for a simple technical drawing for school: Giulio Paolini’s Disegno geometrico (Geometrical Drawing), 1960, marks the beginning of one of the most fruitful artistic and conceptual adventures in the recent history of art, in Italy and internationally. At the Fondazione Prada, this most conceptual of the arte povera artists—together with his “fellow traveler,” the curator Germano Celant—presented, along with Disegno geometrico, an extraordinary series of works executed through 1972. It revolves around a large central installation, Ipotesi per una mostra (Hypothesis for an Exhibition), 1963/2003, that forty years ago was too ambitious for the scant means and credibility that a young artist might have commanded from the Italian art world: the silhouettes of a

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