Born in 1948, she lives and works in Milan where she studied Philosophy and graduated with a thesis on photographic language. She explores theoretical and political fields from the questioning of seeing to language, to female difference, from working class to the heritage of history.Among her exhibitions: Immagini del no, 1974; Donne allo specchio, 1977; Cellophane, 1979; Statuine, 1987; Regine d’Africa, 2004; Consiglio di Amministrazione, 2006; Fabbrico, 2006; Dalmine, 2008; Una sottile distanza, 2008; Mémoires d’Afrique, 2016. The exhibition Altra misura (2015), curated by Raffaella Perna, re-proposed her work on women in the context of feminism in the 1970s. Some of those works later merged into the Donata Pizzi collection and the resulted in the exhibition L’altro sguardo (2016) and V 70 Francesco Vezzoli guarda la RAI (2017). In 2016 Cristina Casero published the first monograph on her work: Paola Mattioli, Sguardo critico di una fotografa, Postmediabooks.