utorak, 16. travnja 2013.

Eduardo Paolozzi - You'll soon be Congratulating Yourself!

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Bash’ 1971

Skulptor, kolažist, grafičar, filmaš i pisac. Tvorac pop-arta prije Warhola... Povijest umjetnosti 20. stoljeća sažeta u jednom čovjeku.

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Michelangelo's 'David'’ ?1987
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Shattered Head’ 1956
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Kardinal Syn’ 1984
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Cyclops’ 1957

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Tafel 16’ c.1964
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Bash’ 1971
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Signs of Death and Decay in the Sky’ 1969-70
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘6228 Plus: Cry on my Shoulder, No Sad Songs etc. (from Zero Energy Experimental Pile Series)’ 1969-70
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘6. Sack-O-Sauce’ 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘[no title]’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Secrets of Internal Combustion Engine’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘883. Whipped Cream, a Taste of Honey, Peanuts, Lemon Tea, Others’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Poster’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘The Silken World of Michelangelo’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Protocol Sentences’ 1967
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Four German Songs’ 1974-6
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Horizon of Expectations’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘From Early Italian Poets’ 1974-6

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Central Park in the Dark Some 40 Years Ago’ 1974-6
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Aeschylus and Socrates’ 1974-6

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Calcium Night Light’ 1974-6
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘833. Whipped Cream, A Taste of Honey, Peanuts, Lemon Tree, Others’ 1967

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘A Formula that can shatter into a million glass bullets’ 1967

I was a Rich Man's Plaything 1947

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘I was a Rich Man's Plaything’ 1947

These collages are mainly made from magazines given to Paolozzi by American ex-servicemen. They show his fascination with popular culture and technology, as well as with the glamour of American consumerism. The title of the series refers to Henry Ford''s famous statement that ''History is more or less bunk.... We want to live in the present''. It reflects Paolozzi''s belief that his work should respond to contemporary culture.

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Dr Pepper’ 1948

Eduardo Paolozzi started collecting images from popular American publications and pasting them into scrapbooks when he was a child and continued to do so as an adult. During 1946 and 1947, his last year at the Slade School of Art, he began using such images in a series of collages which, according to Paolozzi, were heavily indebted to Pablo Picasso's (1881-1973) synthetic Cubism of c.1912-18. In 1947, while still an undergraduate, the Mayor Gallery, London, held Paolozzi's first one-man exhibition. Its success allowed him to leave the Slade and live in Paris. It was there, possibly in his flat on the Ile St Louis, that Dr Pepper, was made.
The collage is made up of images from popular American magazines, which Paolozzi procured from American ex-servicemen, many of whom were studying in Paris as a result of an initiative by the United States government known as the GI Bill. In the context of his own poverty and the general deprivation that affected all of Europe in the years immediately after the Second World War (1939-45), it is not surprising that Paolozzi was seduced by the 'exotic society, bountiful and generous' (Eduardo Paolozzi, 'Retrospective statements' in Robbins, p.192) that he saw presented in American magazines. In Dr Pepper, images of healthy, happy people enjoying the freedom afforded by such machines as cars, bikes, electric cookers and telephones overlay pictures of succulent food in abundance. When Paolozzi had left Britain in 1947 rationing was more severe than at any time during the war.
It was not, however, just the suggestion of material well-being which attracted Paolozzi to these images. He was equally struck by their artistic value and their status as the new iconography of the modern world. In his opinion, the aesthetic of American advertisements and popular magazines was one 'where the event of selling tinned pears was transformed into multi-coloured dreams, where sensuality and virility combined to form, in our view, an art form more subtle and fulfilling than the orthodox choice of either the Tate Gallery or the Royal Academy' (Eduardo Paolozzi, 'Retrospective statements' in Robbins, p.192).
Dr Pepper and similar works by Paolozzi from this period have often been cited as the forerunners of Pop Art in Britain. Although there is a clear correspondence with ideas that were later to become associated with Pop Art, Paolozzi himself was responding to Dadaism and Surrealism. Before he left Britain in 1947 he was familiar with the collages of Max Ernst (1891-1976) and Roland Penrose (1900-1984), among others, and once in Paris he had access to Mary Reynolds's and Tristan Tzara's (1896-1963) collections of Dadaist and Surrealist work. The surprising juxtaposition of familiar objects was a central strategy of both groups, and one that is apparent in Paolozzi's collages of the late 1940s.

Real Gold 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘15. Real Gold’ 1972

It's a Psychological Fact Pleasure Helps Your Disposition 1972
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘33. It's a Psychological Fact Pleasure Helps Your Disposition’ 1972

 Sack-O-Sauce 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘6. Sack-O-Sauce’ 1972

See Mom? A Baby's Life is not all Sunshine 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘5. See Mom? A Baby's Life is not all Sunshine’ 1972
The Dynamics of Biology 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘38. The Dynamics of Biology’ 1972
Never Leave Well Enough Alone 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘26. Never Leave Well Enough Alone’ 1972

Will Alien Powers Invade the Earth? 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘21b. Will Alien Powers Invade the Earth?’ 1972
Will Man Outgrow the Earth ? 1972
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘2. Will Man Outgrow the Earth ?’ 1972

The Ultimate Planet 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘4. The Ultimate Planet’ 1972
Folks Always Invite Me for the Holidays 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘41. Folks Always Invite Me for the Holidays’ 1972
You'll soon be Congratulating Yourself! 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘13. You'll soon be Congratulating Yourself!’ 1972
You Can't Beat the Real Thing 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘32. You Can't Beat the Real Thing’ 1972
Write Dept P-1 for Beautiful Full-Colour Catalog 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘40. Write Dept P-1 for Beautiful Full-Colour Catalog’ 1972
Shots from Peep Show 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘35. Shots from Peep Show’ 1972
Yours Till the Boys Come Home 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘43. Yours Till the Boys Come Home’ 1972

Wind Tunnel Test 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘22. Wind Tunnel Test’ 1972

North Dakota's Lone Sky Scraper 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘21a. North Dakota's Lone Sky Scraper’ 1972

Real Gold 1949

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Real Gold’ 1949

Improved Beans 1972

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘11. Improved Beans’ 1972

Meet the People 1948

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Meet the People’ 1948

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

Sculptor and printmaker who created some of the finest examples of British pop art
Frank Whitford

Of the few British artists who came to international prominence soon after the second world war, Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi, who has died aged 81, was one of the most inventive, prolific and various. Chiefly a sculptor (and one of the first to react against the all-pervading influence of Henry Moore), he was also a highly original printmaker some of whose collage-based silkscreened images are among the finest examples of pop art - the style he was instrumental in shaping.

Paolozzi's career was the more remarkable for its unpromising beginnings. His parents, immigrants to Scotland from the remote Italian province of Frosinone, ran a small ice-cream pariour in Leith where Paolozzi was born. Although seemingly destined to inherit the business, he liked drawing so much that he thought of becoming a commercial artist. His ambitions soon became more elevated however, partly as a result of his determination to make his name in a country which he never regarded as entirely his own.
Paolozzi's father was an admirer of Mussolini and sent Eduardo to a fascist youth camp in Italy every summer where he acquired a liking for badges, uniforms and aeroplanes. When Italy declared war in 1940 his father was interned as an enemy alien. So was Paolozzi. He spent three months in Saughton jail, Edinburgh, while his father and grandfather were transported to Canada on the Arandora Star. The ship was sunk and they drowned. Although Paolozzi was not embittered by the tragedy he had nothing but contempt for most British politicians of every persuasion for the rest of his life.
His internment over, Paolozzi helped his mother make and sell ice cream while he attended the Edinburgh College of Art learning calligraphy and lettering. Then in 1943 he was conscripted, and spent more than a year with the Pioneer Corps, aimlessly bivouacked on a soccer pitch in Slough. Feigning madness to secure his release, he immediately enrolled at the Slade School, at that time evacuated to Oxford.
Paolozzi's natural gifts as a draftsman quickly became evident. So did his enthusiasm for the unconventional. Although he copied Old Master paintings in the Ashmolean, he preferred to draw the tribal art in the Pitt-Rivers Museum. Once the Slade returned to London, he also discovered the work of Picasso, of whom his teachers deeply disapproved.
Picasso's influence is plain in the primitivistic sculptures, energetic drawings, and elegant, cubist-derived collages which Paolozzi produced as a student. Their quality was immediately recognised, and in 1947 he was given a one-man exhibition at the Mayor Gallery. Everything on show was sold. Soon after, the celebrated magazine Horizon published an article about his work.
By then - and before completing his studies - Paolozzi had moved to Paris, armed with letters of introduction to Brancusi, Braque, Giacometti and several other famous artists. He intended to remain permanently in France, but, failing to attract the interest of dealers and critics, returned to London, somewhat crestfallen, in 1949.
Paolozzi saw and learned a great deal in Paris, above all about Dada and surrealism. His sculptures made at the time combine organic and mechanistic forms so as to suggest strange artefacts or mysteriously exotic growths. They share something with Giacometti's surrealist objects, but are less threatening and strikingly assured.
It was in Paris that Paolozzi also produced rudimentary collages from advertisements in American glossy magazines, the lurid covers of cheap novelettes, and illustrations from scientific books. They were inspired by Dada photomontage, but they were made chiefly for his own amusement, and only shown to friends some years later. Today they are regarded as important early examples of pop art.
Back in London, Paolozzi briefly shared a studio with Lucian Freud and then with William Turnbull, whom he had met at the Slade. He also came into contact with Francis Bacon and was stimulated by the painter's determination to take risks and his use of photographs as source material. Paolozzi's closest friendship, however, was with Nigel Henderson, the brilliant experimental photographer. They taught together at the Central School of Art and also founded a short-lived company, Hammer Prints, which made and sold textiles, wallpaper and tiles decorated with images produced by the silkscreen process.
During the early 1950s Paolozzi worked on several architectural projects, making a fountain for the Festival of Britain on the South Bank and another for the Hamburg Garden Show of 1953. In the same year he was a finalist in the much-publicised international competition to design a monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner.
At the Central School Paolozzi used silkscreening not only as a means of decoration but also to make limited edition prints. Many of the stencils were reproduced from drawings (some by young children) cut up and rearranged to make seemingly spontaneous compositions reminiscent of American abstract expressionist paintings, at that time virtually unknown in Europe.
Collage remained central to Paolozzi's methods, both as printmaker and sculptor, for the rest of his career. Everything he created began as an accumulation of unrelated images culled from a wide variety of sources which, when rearranged, achieved a new and surprising unity.
In his prints crude outlines of heads and standing figures were filled with fragmentary diagrams of automotive parts and other machines to suggest primitivistic robots. His sculpture was similar. The surfaces of his roughly cast, rudimentarily formed bronze heads and figures were thickly encrusted with the impressions of nuts, bolts, bits of toys, and other junk collected from dustbins and scrapyards. By turns horrifying, pathetic and comically ramshackle, these figures seemed to allude to the results of nuclear destruction, or to reflect the existential angst then current throughout Europe. They touched a contemporary nerve and they made his reputation.
Many of these sculptures were begun in the isolated cottage on the Essex coast to which Paolozzi moved soon after marrying in 1951. His wife, Freda Elliot, was a textile designer whose handsome, archetypically English looks made a striking contrast with his own dark, thickset, Mediterranean appearance. Mounting success soon enabled him to lease a studio in Chelsea where he would live alone during the week (and which he retained until the end of his life). He quickly came to lead two largely separate lives: one in London, the other as a weekend visitor to the country where his wife soon began to feel isolated, especially after all three of their daughters had gone away to boarding school.
During the 1950s Paolozzi became involved in the Independent Group, a loose association of young members of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. They met to discuss ideas and enthusiasms then ignored by the art pundits, above all science, technology, and popular culture, especially American movies and science fiction. In 1952, at the group's first meeting, Paolozzi projected a large number of his collages on to a screen. For most of his audience the juxtaposition of the weighty and trivial, the artistic and technological, were a revelation. The collages suggested a radically new aesthetic that, before the end of the decade, was to form the basis of pop art.
Paolozzi's determination to make his art mirror a wide range of disparate ideas and information also resulted in contributions to several unconventional and imaginative exhibitions. The most important were Parallel Of Life And Art (1953) and This Is Tomorrow (1956) both of which used photographs and installations to illustrate unexpected connections and affinities between art, science, technology, ethnography and archaeology.
During the same period Paolozzi also established a reputation abroad. His work was shown at the Venice Biennale of 1952, in New Images of Man at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1959, and at Documents in Kassel the same year. In 1960 there was a retrospective at the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
By then his sculpture had begun to change. A visiting professor at the school of art in Hamburg between 1960 and 1962 (where he taught Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the original Beatles), Paolozzi regularly visited the dry docks, collecting discarded components from the wrecking yards. He used these, together with standard engineering parts ordered from catalogues, to create sculptures which simultaneously suggested curious machines and totems from some lost but technologically advanced culture. The earliest were cast in bronze, but later examples were made by welding. Some were painted in bright colours so as to emphasise the geometric elements of which they were composed. Many were constructed at an engineering works near Ipswich with which Paolozzi remained associated for several years. The craftsmen there showed him the advantages of working with assistants, and from then on he regularly employed model makers and other technicians at every stage of his sculptural production.
Paolozzi also treated printmaking with a new seriousness, and in 1965 created one of the masterpieces of pop art, As Is When - a portfolio of 12 screenprints improbably inspired by the life and work of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Based on elaborate collages, the prints employ fragments of texts, abstract patterns, pictures of aeroplanes and other machines, together with Disney characters. Other print portfolios followed, most notably Moonstrips Empire News (1967).
The 1960s were one of the most creative periods in Paolozzi's career. Towards the end of that decade, however, abstract sculptures in welded aluminium and chromium plated steel betrayed a decline in invention and originality. His prints also became repetitive, using the same images and ideas to the point of exhaustion. Some believed that slightly later works, designed to satirise minimalism and other then fashionable kinds of contemporary art, reflected a serious creative crisis. They dominated Paolozzi's only full retrospective in Britain - at the Tate Gallery in 1971 - which was a critical flop.
This was the lowest point in Paolozzi's artistic development. But he began to work with renewed energy in 1974 after being invited to live and work in West Berlin. There he spent almost two years creating several portfolios of ravishly beautiful abstract prints (especially Calcium Night Light) and a number of impressive reliefs assembled from small, standardised wooden elements. Some were later cast in bronze.
Paolozzi loved Germany. He was exhilarated by the dynamism of its cities and the high regard in which artists were held. He also relished the attention given him by German critics and collectors. Between 1977 and 1981 he was a professor at the Cologne Fachhochschole and, then, more happily, at the Munich Academy where he taught until regulations forced him to retire in 1994.
However he retained his London studio, continued to teach part time at the Royal College of Art (which had first appointed him in 1968), and regularly flew back and forth between Heathrow and Munich, always accompanied by copious suitcases stuffed with plaster maquettes, sketchbooks and the makings of collages. In Munich he would sleep at the Academy on a camp bed in his cluttered studio and eat, usually surrounded by admiring students, at a local pizzeria.
Commissions for public sculptures multiplied, first in Germany and then in Britain. Paolozzi made doors for the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, an abstract monument for Euston Square in London, and mosaic decorations for Tottenham Court Road Underground station. He also created a large sculpture for the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh, and a bronze figure of Newton for the main entrance of the British Library.
The last two works revealed a growing interest in classicism which had begun in Munich where Paolozzi frequently visited the Glyptothek, the outstanding collection of Greek and Roman statuary. But even Paolozzi's neoclassical heads and figures continued to employ collage and assemblage. Constructed from unconnected fragments or cut into sections before being rearranged, many of them appear mechanistic, as though informed by a classicising aesthetic modified to reflect a modern distrust of absolute values.
Powerful though it is (and, in its eclectic, postmodernist use of allusion, very much of its time), the work of Paolozzi's last period lacks the freshness and startling originality of the sculpture and prints of the 1950s and 1960s. Yet it is on them, no doubt, that his considerable artistic reputation will continue to rest.
As a man, Paolozzi was a mixture of childlike enthusiasm, unquenchable curiosity and powerful intelligence. He could grasp the essence of a book or the argument of a scholarly article from a few hastily read paragraphs. He was at ease with complex abstract ideas. Always impressively well informed about the latest trends in music, the theatre and cinema, in his studio he listened constantly to BBC Radio 3 which, as he put it, had been his only education. He tried to keep in shape with the aid of judo (he was a black belt), gymnastics, swimming and a variety of diets,yet he never seemed able to concentrate on anything for long.
Those who knew him rarely saw Paolozzi at work. His day seemed to consist of diversions. He would flip idly through magazines or folders filled with clippings, go for a drink at the Chelsea Arts Club close to his studio, for lunch to the Royal College of Art, or for dinner to one of the several restaurants where, thanks to gifts of his sculpture or prints, he never saw a bill. But he was prodigiously productive nevertheless, working for several hours very early in the morning and again late at night when he knew he would not be interrupted. Remarkably generous to his friends, to whom he would casually hand out artists' proofs of prints like sweets, Paolozzi was nevertheless subject to dark moods during which he could be woundingly insensitive. During his career he was represented by very few dealers and stayed with none of them for long.
Paolozzi was made a CBE in 1968, an RA in 1979, and a knight in 1989; he was awarded numerous honorary doctorates, one by Cambridge University where he was also an honorary fellow of Jesus College; he was even a member of the Athenaeum. Such recognition delighted him - he was especially pleased to appear on Desert Island Discs for which he had long prepared his list of records.
Discreet about his private life, Paolozzi was attractive to women. Apart from his wife, three were important to him: the collector Gabrielle Keiller, the Berlin art dealer Helga Retscher, and Marlee Robinson, who acted as his personal assistant for more than a decade and arranged for him to fill the vacant, Ruritanian post of Queen's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland which partly ensured his knighthood. She also organised Paolozzi's defence after his wife, to his surprise and shock, brought divorce proceedings in 1988.
Towards the end of his life Paolozzi became increasingly concerned about his posthumous reputation. Eager to shape it, he began to write an autobiography, which he was unable to finish. He also donated countless prints and sculptures to museums in Britain and abroad. There is no doubt that he relished every visible sign of his eminence, especially from Scotland. His emotional attachment to Edinburgh became increasingly evident during the last years of his life.
In 1994 he offered a large quantity of his works to the national galleries of Scotland The Dean Gallery in Edinburgh, which opened in 1999, contains his works in many media: his large and bewilderingly varied library; a reconstruction of his fascinatingly chaotic London studio; and examples of the Surrealist art from the collections of Roland Penrose and Gabrielle Keiller, which crucially inspired Paolozzi at every point of his career.



J. G. Ballard once said, if by some terrible calamity all art from the 20th century was destroyed except for the work of one artist, then it would be possible to recreate all of the century’s greatest artistic developments if that artist was Eduardo Paolozzi.
Deliberate hyperbole, but there is an essence of truth here, as Paolozzi produced such an incredible range and diversity of art that it has been difficult for critics and art historians to classify him. He began as a Surrealist, before becoming the first Pop Artist—a decade before Warhol put paint on canvas. He then moved on to print-making, design, sculpture and public art to international success.
Born in Edinburgh, to an Italian family in 1924, Paolozzi spent much of his childhood at his parent’s ice cream parlor, where he was surrounded by the packaging, wrapping and cigarette cards that later inspired his Pop Art. This early idyll of childhood was abruptly ended when Italy declared war on Britain in 1940. Paolozzi awoke one morning to find himself, along with his father and uncles, incarcerated, in the city’s Saughton Prison, as undesirables, or enemies of the state. Paolozzi was held for 3 months, but his father and uncles were deported to Canada on the ship HMS Arandora Star, which was torpedoed by a U-boat off the north-west coast of Ireland. The vessel sank with the loss of 630 lives.
Considered psychologically unsuitable for the army, the teenage Paolozzi studied at the Edinburgh School of Art, in 1943, before finishing at the Slade School in London, which he found disappointingly conservative in its approach to art.
After the war, Paolozzi moved briefly to Paris where he visited some of the century’s greatest artists, then resident in the city—Giacometti, Braque, Arp, Brâncuşi, and Léger. In his youthful boldness, Eduardo had telephoned each of these artists after discovering their numbers in the telephone directory. He was greeted as an equal, he later claimed, most probably because the war had just ended. The experience taught Paolozzi much, and emboldened his ideas. On his return to London, Paolozzi presented a slide show of adverts and packaging, which was the very first Pop Art.
Paolozzi developed his distinctive collages and multiple images of Marilyn Monroe long before Warhol and even Richard Hamilton, the artist with whom he showed at the now legendary This Is Tomorrow exhibition, at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1956.
Paolozzi eventually tired of his association with Pop Art, as it limited his incredibly diverse artistic vision. The same year as This Is Tomorrow, he played a deaf mute, with fellow artist Michael Andrews, in the first major Free Cinema movie Together by Lorenza Mazzetti.
By the late 1950s, he had moved on to industrial print-making,  before producing an incredibly awe-inspiring range of designs for buildings, sculptures and public art—from his mosaic for Tottenham Court Road tube station to the cover of Paul McCartney’s Red Rose Speedway, through to such epic sculptures Newton, outside of the British Library, Vulcan, Edinburgh, and Head of Invention, Design Museum, London.
In 1984, Paolozzi conceived and produced a brief strange and surreal animation1984: Music for Modern Americans, which was animated and directed by Emma Calder, Susan Young and Isabelle Perrichon, and based photocopies of Paolozzi’s original drawings.

Posted by Paul Gallagher

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