Paolo Novelli. The Day After Night

Project Room | 14 June – 21 July 2024

Paolo Novelli‘s (Brescia, 1976) exhibition entitled Il giorno dopo la notte (“The Day After Night”) brings together in the same space two cycles of his work made between 2011 and 2018, which are central to the evolution of his language. Both are made in analog in strict black and white, with the printing process being of paramount importance. The only subjects of the two series are windows covered by closed or bricked-up shutters on the facades of buildings without particularly attractive architectural features. La notte non basta (“The night is not enough”) consists of a series of nocturnes in which the windows, or rather the shutters that block the view, emerge from the darkness in dialogue with the light of the street lamps. On the other hand, Il giorno non basta (“The Day is Not Enough”) focuses on the daylight that touches the geometric indentations of the bricked windows. They become almost abstract forms, minimal marks on the surface of the building. The title comes from the photographer’s reflection on expressions, which expands into a vision of life: “When things go wrong, at the end of the day someone encourages us with phrases like ‘sleep on it, let the night go by, and in the morning you’ll see…’. Then you wake up and nothing has changed. Sometimes all that is left is a strong desire to escape, which is almost never the case in the end. Hence the second part of the diptych “The Day is Not Enough” with the hypothetical subtitle ‘a fuggire’ (to escape)”.  Novelli’s creations have long lead times that require equally long observation, as the images are made up of minimal variations, shifts of light and shadow, and nuances of tone. In this way, he explores the mystery of representing the world through images, aiming for a quiet yet evocative style reminiscent of the painter Giorgio Morandi.

Paolo Novelli began his career at the end of the 1990s. Since the 2000s, he has published several monographs, including “Interiors” on the occasion of his first exhibition at the Massimo Minini Gallery in 2011, a gallery where he also held his last exhibition in 2022. Also noteworthy is the 2019 Milan Triennale exhibition curated by Giovanni Martini, one of the authors who most supported and interpreted his work, along with Lanfranco Colombo, Arturo Carlo Quintavalle and Giovanni Gastel.


The exhibition in CAMERA’s Project Room consists of about 20 photographs. It is curated by Walter Guadagnini and accompanied by a catalog published by Dario Cimorelli Editore.

Paolo Novelli

A leading figure in Italian art photography, Paolo Novelli has been active since 1997, using only analogue cameras and black and white film. His photos are taken in natural light and developed by hand in the dark room. In 1999, after being selected for a residency at Fabrica (Benetton communication agency), directed by Oliviero Toscani, he decided to develop a personal line of research on the theme of the incommunicability of man in its various manifestations, through a number of series. Doors, tunnels, mists, windows, and people shot from behind characterize the cycles of images presented in eight monographs, with introductory texts by, among others, Arturo Carlo Quintavalle, Massimo Minini, Olivo Barbieri, Lanfranco Colombo, and Giovanna Calvenzi.
Since 2003 he has exhibited widely in private and public spaces, including solo exhibitions at: CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, Turin (2024); Triennale Milano, Milan (2019); Palazzo Grillo, Genoa (2019); Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Amsterdam (2015); Palazzo d’Accursio, Bologna (2006); Rocca di San Giorgio, Orzinuovi (2006); Palazzo Comunale di Cremona (2005).
He has also participated in numerous collective exhibitions, including: Lo sguardo radicale. Passione e rigore nella fotografia di ricerca italiana, Palazzo Comunale di Seriate (2023–24); Flashback. Fotografia italiana di sperimentazione, 1960-2016, Palazzo Ducale, Genova (2016); Massimo Minini. Quarant’anni 1973-2013, Triennale Milano (2013–14); I mille. Scatti per una storia d’Italia, Palazzo del Governatore, Parma (2012); Dieci per Cento: dieci artisti contemporanei a Cento, Rocca di Cento (2008); Festival di Fotografia di Sestri Levante, Palazzo Comunale (2009).
Since 2000 he has taken part in a number of international contemporary art events, including Art Basel (2024), AIPAD Photography Show New York (2017) KIAF Seoul (2009), Flash Art Event, Milano (2013), Fotofever, Parigi (2013-2014).

His works have been published in Italian and international magazines, including Artforum (2016), The Sun Magazine (2015), Zoom (2012), Fool Magazine (2011), and AD Architectural Digest (2017). On the occasion of his keynote lecture at Triennale Milano in 2017, he was made an honorary member of the AFIP (Italian Association of Professional Photographers), founded by Giovanni Gastel.