Skip to main content
  • where: Studio / Archivio Paul Thorel, Via Vittorio Imbriani 48, 80121 Napoli
  • when: 11.09.23 – 20.10.23, Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM and on appointment 
  • event: exhibition
  • access: free

On Sept. 11, 2023 at 7 p.m., the Paul Thorel Foundation inaugurates its new exhibition space with the Family & Friends exhibition at the historic site of its Archive / Studio in the Chiaia neighborhood of Naples, and presents for the occasion artist Lina Pallotta, the third winner of the first edition of the Paul Thorel Prize. 

The Foundation began its first public activities in fall 2022 with the launch of the first edition of the Paul Thorel Prize, a residency project for Italian artists. Now, a year later, it opens an exhibition space to the art public with a special program of exhibitions at the Studio/Archive’s historic headquarters at Via Vittorio Imbriani 48, Naples. 

The series of exhibitions is curated by Sara Dolfi Agostini, curator of the foundation and responsible for the ongoing work on the catalogue raisonné dedicated to Paul Thorel (1956-2020), a pioneer of the electronic image, whose home has been in Naples since 1994. Pending the publication of the catalogue, the exhibition program inaugurates a shared course of reinterpretation of his artistic practice, in dialogue with contemporary artworks by Italian and international artists he collected during his lifetime. 

The first exhibition, titled Family & Friends, presents a series of vintage photographic works by Paul Thorel, some previously unpublished and all made between 1986 and 1995, years in which the artist altered photographic portraits of family and friends to experiment with new digital technologies. Thorel, an artist and programmer, anticipates some of the digital manipulation tools that would become popular with the photo editing program Photoshop, launched in 1990 exclusively for Macintosh operators and from 1993 also for Microsoft Windows. 

In dialogue with Paul Thorel are Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) and Michel Auder (1945), who share with him a spirit of experimentation in their own research languages, respectively sculpture and video, frequent contaminations between life and art-as evident in the subjects of their works-as well as an elective affinity with the places that marked Thorel’s life, Paris and Naples. 

The exhibition opens symbolically with the bronze sculpture Bust of Paola (1958-59), a portrait of Paola Caròla, psychoanalyst and student of Jacques Lacan and mother of Thorel; a commission that also marks the beginning of a friendship with Mr. and Mrs. Giacometti. The exhibition continues with works by Michel Auder: the photograph VIVA Positano (1968) dedicated to his first wife, actress and Andy Warhol’s muse, and Polaroid Cocaine (1993), a collection of images from books and magazines to which the artist entrusts the confession of his obsessive relationship with images. The work, a poignant journey between desire and destruction, is accompanied by music by Jean-Jacques Schuhl and the voice of Ingrid Caven. 

For the occasion, the Paul Thorel Foundation welcomes artist Lina Pallotta, the third winner of the first edition of the Paul Thorel Prize, who will be present at the event and concurrently begin her month-long residency in the Archive / Studio spaces to create a new artistic production.