In 1960, twenty-year-old Giulio Paolini made an artwork with the help of a handbook, a ruling pen, and a compass. He used ink to square the white-painted canvas, and called it Disegno geometrico. A few years later he acknowledged that that modestly sized painting had marked his debut as an artist: a starting point, but also a never-ending return – both mental and formal – for each and every one of his works. Why did such an early, essential artwork become the cornerstone of Paolinian poetics? Fabio Belloni is the first to put forward an in-depth critical reading of Disegno geometrico. He explores the work’s genesis and meanings, and the powerful role it has played in the artist’s oeuvre as well as in contemporary art.
The book constitutes the third volume of the “In collezione” series, curated by the Fondazione Giulio e Anna Paolini and dedicated to in-depth monographic studies on selected works of Giulio Paolini.
Fabio Belloni (Ferrara 1980) studied at the University of Udine and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York. He is currently a Researcher in History of Contemporary Art at the University of Turin. His publications include: Un’idea di pittura. Astrazione analitica in Italia, 1972-1976 (Udine 2015); Militanza artistica in Italia, 1968-1972 (Rome 2015); “Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco su Giulio Paolini” (in Ricerche di Storia dell’Arte 124, Rome 2018).