Born in Genoa in 1940, Giulio Paolini lives and works in Turin. He made his first “painting”, Disegno geometrico, in 1960 and had his first solo exhibition in Italy in 1964. In the mid-1960s he became associated with the Italian artists of the Arte Povera movement and took part in numerous group shows. He has also had solo shows in major international institutions such as the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan (2016), the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in New York (2016), the Whitechapel Gallery in London (2014), the MACRO (Museo d’Arte Contemporanea) in Rome (2013), the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2005), MAMCO in Geneva (1999), the Fundação C. Gulbenkian in Lisbon (1995), the Nouveau Musée de Villeurbanne (1984), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1980). A major retrospective, Del bello ideale. Giulio Paolini, has just ended at the Fondazione Carriero in Milan (26 October 2018 – 10 February 2019). From 2 March to 10 June 2019 the Collection Lambert is presenting Le Lacrime Dei Poeti, an exhibition of sculptures by Francesco Vezzoli in dialogue with works by Paolini, Louise Lawler and Cy Twombly.
Paolini has shown at several Documentas (V, 1972; VI, 1977; VII, 1982, and IX, 1992) and at numerous Venice Biennales (1970, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1995, 1997 and 2013). He has also designed many stage sets since 1969, including one for the opera Die Walkürie by Richard Wagner at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, in 2005. He was awarded the Premio Fontana in 1975 and the DAAD Fellowship in 1981, and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1995.