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Eduardo PAOLOZZI 1924 - 2005

ARA 1972, RA 1979, HRSA 1987 KBE 1988

Biography

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Scottish sculptor, collagist, printmaker, film maker and writer was born of Italian parents in Leith near Edinburgh. Paolozzi is widely considered one of the most versatile sculptors post-war Britain has produced.

He attended Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) from 1943 with a view to becoming a commercial artist. After brief military service, in 1944 he attended St Martin’s School of Art in London, and from 1945 to 1947 he studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in Oxford.

Paolozzi spent two years in Paris from 1947, meeting artists such as Georges BRAQUE, Jean ArpConstantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, Fernand Léger and Tristan Tzara. He was attracted to Surrealist art and ideas and produced enigmatic, bronze sculptures reminiscent of those by Alberto Giacometti. During the same period he made a series of dada and surrealist-inspired collages in which magazine advertisements, cartoons and machine parts are combined, "which blend the incongruous juxtapositions of Surrealism with Paolozzi’s interest in images of modern machinery" (Oxford Art Online).

He was associated with the modernist Independent Group, which included Richard Hamilton, and his famous lecture at the ICA in 1952, 'Bunk', anticipated the aesthetics of Pop Art.

Alongside teaching at various art schools he developed his printmaking and sculpture. Paolozzi was particularly interested in the mass media and in science and technology.

His studio is recreated at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, where some of his work is now permanently on display.

He was appointed to the Royal Academy in 1979 and knighted in 1989.