Two photo prints mounted between shaped plexiglas sheets, colour photo print, plexiglas sheet, steel cable

Hanging part 210 x 190 cm, photo print on floor 91.5 x 91.5 cm

Private collection, Buenos Aires

A winged figure made up of a photographic collage with pieces from the reproductions of works by Antonio Canova – mounted between two plexiglas shapes hanging down from the ceiling on a steel cable – wavers in mid-air in an upside-down position. Lying on the ground instead is a colour photograph of a cloudy sky, held down by a plexiglas sheet, emphasizing the fact that the elements at play are inverted.
The title alludes to the condition of an unstable form, suspended in the air, and at the same time to the eponymous musical tune.
The tension between the Earth and the sky and the motif representing the fall include the work in a thematic area that is a distinctive feature of the artist's production from 1982 to 1984 (cf. by way of example
La caduta di Icaro, 1982, GPO-0464] Place des Martyrs, 1983, GPO-0488, and L’idolo, 1983-84, GPO-0515).
The same subject was developed in three other variants, made between 1983 (GPO-0528, GPO-0529) and 1988 (GPO-0626).

Figure: Antonio Canova, Genio funebre from the Sepolcro di Clemente XIII, 1787-92, marble, 820 x 630 x 254 cm, Basilica di San Pietro, Rome; reproduction from L’opera completa di Canova. Classici dell’arte 213 (Milan: Rizzoli, 1976), plate XI.
Wings: Antonio Canova, Genius on the right of the
Cenotafio degli Stuart, 1817-19, marble, 560 x 280 x 140 cm, Basilica di San Pietro, Rome; reproduction from L’opera completa di Canova. Classici dell’arte 213 (Milan: Rizzoli, 1976), plates LVIII and LIX.

1983 Milan, Palazzo della Triennale, XVII Triennale di Milano. Le case della Triennale. Otto progetti di ambienti domestici contemporanei, 23 October - 30 November, referred to in the text by Pietro Derossi pp. 30-33 (as “La caduta dell’angelo”).
1984 Milan, Studio Marconi, Giulio Paolini, from 9 February, not repr.
1986 New York, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Alighiero Boetti, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Piero Manzoni, Mario Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Michelangelo Pistoletto, 8-29 March 1986.
1986 Venice, Studio Barnabò, Artisti italiani contemporanei 1956-1986, October, repr. p. 25 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
Giulio Paolini. La Casa di Lucrezio, exhibition catalogue, Spoleto, Palazzo Rosari Spada (Casalecchio di Reno: Grafis Edizioni, 1984), repr. p. 53 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
Paolini. Melanconia ermetica, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Galerie Maeght Lelong, 1985, repr. p. 15 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
On Language and Ecstasy. A Generation in Italian Art, exhibition catalogue, Jyväskylä, Alvar Aalto-Museo, 1985, repr. p. 129 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
Giulio Paolini, exhibition catalogue, Nagoya, Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1987, repr. p. 33 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
G. Paolini, Suspense. Breve storia del vuoto in tredici stanze (Florence: Hopeful Monster editore, 1988), repr. p. 209 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
F. Poli, Giulio Paolini (Turin: Lindau, 1990), repr. no. 106 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
M. Unterdörfer, Die Rezeption der Antike in der Postmoderne: der Gipsabguss in der italienischen Kunst der siebziger und achtziger Jahre (Weimar: VDG Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften, 1998), pp. 52, 178, cat. no. 48 p. 144 (the exhibition venue and the bibliographical references are related to two other versions of Aria, see GPO-0528, GPO-0529), repr. no. 38 p. 224 (exhibition view Milan 1984).
Pietro Derossi. Per un’architettura narrativa: Architetture e progetti 1959-2000 (Milan: Skira editore, 2000), pp. 132-133 (titled “La caduta dell’angelo”).
L.V. Masini, L’arte del Novecento. Dall’Espressionismo al Multimediale, vol. XI: L’Arte come idea (Florence-Rome: Giunti and Gruppo Editoriale Espresso, 2003), repr. p. 560.
Derossi Associati. Racconti di architettura, exhibition catalogue, Turin, Fondazione Merz (Milan: Skira editore, 2006), col. repr. p. 25 (titled “La caduta dell’angelo”).
M. Disch, Giulio Paolini. Catalogo ragionato 1960-1999, vol. 2 (Milan: Skira editore, 2008), cat. no. 502 p. 513, repr. (exhibition view Milan 1984).
Entry by Maddalena Disch , 29/03/2023