SIR EDUARDO PAOLOZZI
(1924-2005; Edinburgh, Scotland)
British sculptor, collagist, printmaker, filmmaker, and writer
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi created some of the finest examples of British pop art. In the 1940s and ’50s, he made sculptures and collages that combined surrealism with pop culture and modern machinery. In the 1960s, he further incorporated machinery into his art. He spent the 1970s working on abstract art reliefs. Through the 1980s and ’90s, he took public commissions. He died on April 22, 2005, in London, England.
In the late 1940s, Paolozzi spent time in Paris, France, shadowing such surrealist artists as Jean Dubuffet and Alberto Giacometti. During this time, Paolozzi started making sculptures and collages that uniquely combined the influences of surrealism with elements of popular culture and contemporary machinery. A collection of Paolozzi’s collages, comprised of clippings he pulled from magazines American soldiers had given him in Paris, were later displayed in a slideshow at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1952. To many, the slideshow designated Paolozzi as the “inventor of Pop Art.”
In the 1960s, Paolozzi further incorporated the theme of modern machinery into his art, through collaboration with industry engineering companies—which provided him with materials, equipment and workspace. Aluminum became Paolozzi’s new material of choice, as he littered his work with discarded machine parts. Fused together through drilling, bolting and welding, the sum total of the parts produced ground-breaking artwork with sharp geometric edges that still managed to be suggestive of the human form. Through his industrial art, Paolozzi made a social statement about man’s role in the age of technology.