Sir Eduardo Paolozzi 1924-2005

Eduardo Paolozzi attended Edinburgh College of Art, St Martin's School of Art in London, and then studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art. From 1947 to 1949, he lived in Paris where he met Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Léger, Alberto Giacometti and Tristan Tzara. He returned to London, and from 1949 to 1950 he taught textile design at the Central School of Art and Design whilst also designing collages for interior design patterns such as printed fabrics and wallpapers. From 1955 to 1958 he taught sculpture at St Martin's School of Art, London. In 1956, he obtained a grant from the Copley Foundation. During the 1960s he taught at the Royal College of Art, London, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Hochscule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. He was Professor of Ceramics at the Fachhochschule, Cologne, from 1977 to 1981, and then Professor of Sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich. He was awarded a CBE in 1968, elected to the Royal Academy in 1979, and knighted in 1986.

 

Paolozzi was active in the Independent Group based in London, a pre-cursor for British Pop, of which he was a founder member in 1952. In 1951 he was commissioned to produce a fountain/well head for the Festival of Britain, and in 1953 Hamburg City Council also commissioned a fountain. Other public commissions included a series of mosaics for the London underground, Piscator in Euston Square, London, and aluminium low relief doors for the Hunterian Gallery in Glasgow, all during the 1980s.

 

His initial works were inspired by both an interest in mechanisation and a fascination with the sub-aquatic, and was perhaps also influenced by the contemporary poetics of Paul Klee. The Dadaist spirit of Giacometti and Tzara had a lasting influence on him, signs of which can be found in the embrace of irrationality throughout his practice.

 

BENEZIT DICTIONARY OF ARTISTS