Friday, 5 April 2019

Eduardo Paolozzi – part 1




Eduardo Paolozzi's parents immigrated to Scotland from Italy where the artist was born in Edinburgh. His father admired Mussolini and sent his son to Fascist summer camps in Italy. When Italy joined the Second World War in 1940, the British interned Paolozzi along with his male relations, marking them as enemy aliens. During the young artist's three months in prison, his father and grandfather were to be transported to Canada. On the way, a German U-Boat sunk their ship and they drowned. This resulted in Paolozzi's deep distrust of war and of the British government, which remained throughout his life.

After he was released from internment, Paolozzi studied at the Edinburgh College of Art for a period of time before being conscripted into the army. He feigned insanity in order to be released early, and enrolled at the Slade School of Art in Oxford, where he studied for the duration of the war. When the school's premises were moved back to London, he encountered the work of Pablo Picasso which was to have a huge influence on his style. His first solo show, consisting of primitivist sculpture and Cubist-inspired collage, was held at London's Mayor Gallery in 1947. It was a great success and everything exhibited was sold.

Later that same year, Paolozzi moved to Paris, where he got to know a host of Surrealist artists who were becoming very well-known. They included Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque and Fermand Leger. With roots in the improvisational nature of Dada, Surrealism evolved the idea of using elements of surprise in unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur. This was a key impressionable moment in the young artist's career and in the late 1940s he made various sculptures in the Surrealist vein that reflected his deep interest in images of modern machinery. He also made a number of collages based on appropriated images from magazines he gathered from American soldiers who were based in the area on training programs after the Second World War. 

These collages represented a culmination of all his prior artistic influences. They married his obsessions with American culture, Surrealism's utilisation of random forms and imagery, and graphic design industry-inspired layouts into bold and visually fresh compositions, which would later mark the inception of the British Pop art movement. Although much of Paolozzi's later work exhibits evidence of the influence of this formative time, his period in Paris didn't prove as satisfactory as he had hoped and he only stayed for two years.

Paolozzi was particularly concerned with his reputation and how the public would go on to view him after his death. In 1994 he donated a large body of his works to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in an attempt to enshrine his future reception. He will particularly be remembered for the early collage works, which were important in inspiring the British pop art movement. This would eventually spur the International Pop art movement from which superstars like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg sprang.

Biography adapted from theartstory.org 



This is part 1 of a 7-part series on the works of
Eduardo Paolozzi:


1962 Inkwells Gold
screenprint on paper 47 x 63.5 cm
Tate, London

1962 Metafisikal Translations:
Untitled silkscreens on paper 29.8 x 21 cm each.
Tate, London


































































1964-65 As is When. 
Illustrated book with thirteen screenprints published by Editions Alecto, London:


1965 As is When
from an illustrated book with thirteen screenprints 96 x 65.7 cm
 Museum of Modern Art, New York

1964 Wittgenstein in New York
screenprint on paper 76.3 x 53.8 cm
Tate, London


1964 ( Plate 4 ) Artificial Sun
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 5 ) Tortured Life
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 6 ) Experience
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 7 ) Reality
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 8 ) Wittgenstein as Soldier
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 9 ) Wittgenstein in New York
screenprint 96.5 x 66.1 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1964 ( Plate 10 ) Parrot 
screenprint on paper 76.7 x 54.8 cm 
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1964 ( Plate 10 ) variation: Parrot
screenprint on paper 76.7 x 54.8 cm
Tate, London

1965 ( Plate 11 ) Futurism at Lenabo
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 12 ) Assembling Reminders for a Particular Purpose
 screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 13 ) The Spirit of the Snake
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York
 
1965 ( Plate 13 ) variation: The Spirit of the Snake
screenprint on paper 78.7 x 53 cm
Tate, London


1965 ( Plate 14 ) He Must, So to Speak, Throw Away the Ladder
 screenprint 96 x 65.7 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York

1965 ( Plate 15 ) Wittgenstein at the Cinema Admires Betty Grable
screenprint 96 x 66 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York


1965 variation: ( Plate 15 ) Wittgenstein at the Cinema Admires Betty Grable
screenprint on paper 83.3 x 50.3 cm
Tate, London



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