Paolo Gubinelli 1975

For me to speak of my “papers,” in all honesty, implies an emotional-intellectual detachment and a change of language, from that of my work to one made of words, more extraneous, with the disquiet and uneasiness of misinterpreting content and motivations of my work. But if it can facilitate the interpretation of the work...

The “concept” of structure-space-light moves within a rational analytical study in which I tend to reduce the means and modes of operation in a rigorous and demanding meditation.

The means: paper, or rather a light cardboard chosen for its softness and docility to touch and for its “candour” (light) uncontaminated by any external intervention of colour, capable of evoking emotions of purity, of quiet and clarifying contemplation. On this surface, using a blade, I trace a cut following geometric lines (projections, planes overturned...); then delicately, carefully, I make folds which create a subtle relief, capable of involving space, giving it structure, making it perceptible. The surface vibrates with a structure-light obtained not with effects of painted chiaroscuro, but with the incidence of light (grazing) on the support itself, the cut and folded paper, where I rigorously fight the temptation to enrich the work. The surfaces change, varying according to the viewpoint and incidence of light; a dialectic spatiality derives that involves the viewer in a series of dynamic relations, offering him a creative reappropriation of the surrounding space. My “papers” demand an unsuperficial, careful and prolonged interpretation; their message is not readily perceivable and they require a viewer disposed to meditate on their content, motivations and stimuli.


Florence, January 1975

Autopresentazione, Pub. Galleria Indiano Grafica,

Florence, 1977


Description of my work


Paper has been my only support and means of artistic expression. Following the initial stage when I worked on soft, thick white paper lightly scored with a razor and folded by hand according to geometric shapes (which lend a particular “space - light” visual effect).

I turned to trasparent paper (architects’ tracing paper) likewise scored and folded. Or else to sheets of vellum spaced in a rhythmic progression - either dynamic or scrolled - with barely visible scoring. More recently, I abandoned the former geometric marks, with their rigorous construction, in favor of a free scheme of marking with pastels of various colors and very light scoring. I consider these a better means for expressing the unforeseen shifts of an internal dialogue.

I have presently enriched this language of gestures on paper by adding various tonal colors lending a watercolor effect which I find expresses a more intimate and intense dimension.


Florence, june 2000              Paolo Gubinelli