Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi, KBE, FRA (March 7 1924 – April 22 2005), was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He was a major figure in the international art world working without compromise on his own interpretation and vision of the world around us. Paolozzi investigated how we can fit into the modern world to resemble our fragmented civilization through imagination and fantasy. By the dramatic juxtaposition of ideas in his work, he let us see the confusion as well as the inspiration.″Mythologies″, Exhibit Catalog, "The Scottish Gallery", May 2 - May 26, 1990.]

Paolozzi was born in Leith in north Edinburgh, the eldest son of Italian immigrants. In June 1940, when Italy declared war on Britain, Paolozzi was interned (along with most other Italian men in Britain). During his three-month internment at Saughton prison his father, grandfather and uncle, who had also been detained, were among the 446 Italians who drowned when the ship carrying them to Canada, the Arandora Star, was sunk by a German U-Boat. [] He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1943, briefly at the St Martin's School of Art in 1944, and then at the Slade School of Art in London from 1944 to 1947, after which he worked in Paris, France. While in Paris from 1947 - 1949, Paolozzi became acquainted with Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger. This period became an important influence for his later work. [″Paolozzi Arches Noah″, Exhibit Catalog, "Münchner Stadtmuseum", 1990.]

After Paris, he moved back to London eventually establishing his studio in Chelsea. The studio was a work-shop filled with hundreds of found objects, models, sculptures, materials, tools, toys and stacks of books. National Galleries of Scotland - Paolozzi studio recreation: [] ] Paolozzi was interested in everything and would use a variety of objects and materials in his work, particularly his collages. Largely a surrealist, Paolozzi came to public attention in the 1950s by producing a range of striking screenprints and ′Art Brut′ sculpture. Paolozzi was a founder of the Independent Group in 1952, which is regarded as the precursor to the mid 1950s British and late 1950s American Pop Art movements. His seminal 1947 collage "I was a Rich Man's Plaything" is considered the earliest standard bearer representing Pop Art. [Livingstone, M., (1990), "Pop Art: A Continuing History", New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.] [″Eduardo Paolozzi″, Exhibit Catalog, "Hefte der Akademie der Bildenden Künste", 1977.] [Tate Collection]
] Although he always described his work as surrealist, he later became better known as a sculptor. Paolozzi is recognized for producing largely lifelike statuary works, but with rectilinear (often cubic) elements added or removed, or the human form deconstructed in a cubist manner. His works include:

• The mosaic patterned walls of the Tottenham Court Road tube station

• The cover of Paul McCartney's album "Red Rose Speedway"

• The ceiling panels and window tapestry at Cleish Castle

• The "Piscator" sculpture outside Euston Station London

• Relief aluminium doors for the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Gallery

• The bronze sculpture "Newton, after William Blake", 1995, in the piazza of the British Library

• "The Manuscript of Monte Casino", an open palm, a section of limb and a human foot, located at Leith Walk, looking towards Paolozzi's birthplace Leith

• The "Head of Invention" sculpture on the South Bank in front of the Design Museum

• The sculpture "A Maximis Ad Minima" in Kew Gardens at the west end of the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

He taught sculpture and ceramics at a number of institutions, including University of California, Berkeley (in 1968) and at the Royal College of Art. Paolozzi has a long association with Germany, having worked in Berlin from 1974 as part of the Artists Exchange Scheme. He was a professor at the Fachhochschule in Cologne from 1977 to 1981, and later taught sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. Paolozzi was fond of Munich and many of his works and concept plans were developed in a studio he kept there, including the mosaics of the Tottenham Court Road Station in London.

Paolozzi was awarded the CBE in 1968 and in 1979 he was elected to the Royal Academy. During the late 60s he started contributing to literary magazine Ambit, which began a lifelong collaboration.

He was promoted to the office of Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland in 1986, which he held until his death. Paolozzi was knighted in 1989 by Queen Elizabeth II and awarded the KBE.

In 1994 Paolozzi gave the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art a large body of his works, and much of the content of his artist's studio. In 1999 the National Galleries of Scotland opened the Dean Gallery to display this collection, and the gallery displays a recreation of Paolozzi's studio, with its contents evoking the original London and Munich locations.

In 2001 Paolozzi suffered a near-fatal stroke (causing an incorrect magazine report that he had died). However, illness confined him to a wheelchair, and he died in a hospital in London in April 2005.

Other work

* Eduardo Paolozzi played a deaf-mute in Lorenza Mazzetti's Free Cinema film "Together", alongside the painter Michael Andrews (1955).
* A photograph of Paolozzi's large, well-worn right hand was selected by Lord Snowdon as the cover image for his book "Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective" (2000).


External links

* [ Tate Collection of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi: 381 Works]
* [ Works in National Galleries of Scotland]
* [ BBC report of Sir Eduardo's death]
* [ Photos of some of Paolozzi's work]
* [ The Tottenham Court Road Underground Station mosaics]
* [ Sir Eduardo Paolozzi Gallery Web Site]
* [ Sir Eduardo Paolozzi Projects 1972 - 2000]
* [ Eduardo Paolozzi] at
* [ Independent Gallery]
* [ Paolozzi's internment recorded in Saughton Prison records, National Archives of Scotland]
* John-Paul Stonard (2008), PDFlink|1= [ "Eduardo Paolozzi's Bunk Collages"] |2=, "The Burlington Magazine", April 2008

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