Pallant House Gallery is delighted to present a major retrospective of the work of Eduardo Paolozzi (1924–2005), one of the most inventive and prolific of the British artists to come to prominence after the Second World War. Paolozzi’s legacy ranges from Pop Art to monumental public works and the exhibition features around 150 works in a variety of media including drawings, collage, textiles, sculpture and prints, and rare early pieces that have not been seen in public for many years.
The exhibition will explore the relationship between Paolozzi's sculpture and his graphic work, and his key preoccupations such as popular culture, science-fiction and the machine. Central to the exhibition is the importance of collage as a working process within Paolozzi's career, not only in the traditional sense of paper collage, but also in terms of sculptural assemblage, printmaking and film-making.
Paolozzi is often described as one of the founders of British Pop art, but the exhibition also considers his position as a bridge between Surrealism and European Modernists such as Giacometti and Dubuffet, and the post-war cultures of Britain and America. It also explore the relationship between Paolozzi's work and the existential anxieties of the post-war age through exhibits such as his unrealised competition maquette for the ‘Monument for the Unknown Political Prisoner' (1952), marking him out as an important commentator on British and American culture in the aftermath of the Second World War.
In the latter part of his career Paolozzi increasingly began to explore a multimedia approach to making and design. The exhibition includes examples of the ceramics he designed for Wedgwood Ltd and Rosenthal while tutor of Ceramics at the Royal College of Art in the 1970s, his renowned designs for mosaics at Tottenham Court Underground Station, and maquettes for other public schemes such as the sculpture Newton after Blake commissioned for the British Library.
Simon Martin, Curator of the exhibition says: "Paolozzi is widely celebrated as one of the leading sculptors of the post-war age, but with this exhibition we aim to present the extraordinary versatility of his approach to making art by also including textiles, printmaking, film, and ceramics. Paolozzi memorably said that ‘all human experience is one big collage'. For him collage was not just a technique, but an approach to the wider culture that surrounded him: consumerism, the space race, fashion, the machine and man's place in a changing world."
The exhibition is drawn from the Gallery's own collection of over 350 works, one of the most significant collections of Paolozzi's work in the world, many donated by the artist's lifelong friend and patron the architect Colin St John Wilson and his wife MJ Long. It also features loans from a range of public and private collections including Tate, British Council Collection and the Arts Council Collection.
Eduardo Paolozzi, Parrot from ‘As is When’, 1965, Screenprint on paper, Pallant House Gallery (Wilson Gift through the Art Fund) © The Trustees of the Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Published 26th June 2013
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