Eduardo Paolozzi Facts

Eduardo Paolozzi was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He is said to be the pioneer of the Pop Art movement.

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Facts About Eduardo Paolozzi

  • Eduardo Paolozzi was born in Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1924.
  • He was the son of Italian immigrants from Viticuso in Lazio. Eduardo Paolozzi’s parents ran a shop selling ice cream and chocolates. They made their ice cream in the cellar.
  • He had a sister called Yolanda who was ten years younger than him.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi spent the summers in Italy with his grandparents, and he grew up fluent in both English and Italian.
  • In 1940, following the outbreak of World War 2, Eduardo Paolozzi was interned (imprisoned without charge because he was deemed an enemy citizen) along with the majority of other Italian men living in Britain at the time. His detainment lasted for three months.
  • Tragically, Eduardo Paolozzi’s father, uncle, and grandfather drowned when a ship taking them to Canada was sunk by a German U-boat.
  • In 1943, he attended the Edinburgh College of Art, and from 1944 to 1947 he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art at the University College London.
  • From 1947 to 1949, Eduardo Paolozzi moved to Paris, France, and he got to know the artists Alberto Giacometti, Georges Braque, Jean Arp, Fernand Leger, and Constantin Brancusi.
Eduardo Paolozzi sculpture
  • He returned to London and set up a studio in Chelsea. The rooms were filled with objects collected by Eduardo Paolozzi, including models, toys, books, sculptures, materials, and tools. Many of these items were used in his artwork.
  • In 1952, Eduardo Paolozzi founded the Independent Group, a group of artists who met at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and were thought to be the forerunners of the Pop Art movement.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi’s 1947 collage titled I was a Rich Man’s Plaything is considered by many to be the first work of Pop Art.
  • In 1955, he moved to Thorpe-le-Soken in Essex with his family, and with Nigel Henderson (an artist and photographer) he set up Hammer Prints Ltd, a company producing textiles, ceramics and wallpaper.
  • Although he has worked with numerous mediums over his career (paper collage, ceramics, textiles) he is possibly best known for his sculptures. He often described his artwork as surrealist.

 I try to reject the ordinary ways of making the art image.

Eduardo Paolozzi (1971)
  • In the 1960s, he produced a series of silkscreen prints full of pop culture references and technological imagery.
  • During the 1970s, he had a studio in Munich, Germany.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi designed mosaics for London’s Tottenham Court Road tube station in 1982.
  • In 1968, he was made a CBE, and he joined the Royal Academy of Arts in 1979.
  • He produced a series of tapestries for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1980.
  • In 1989, Eduardo Paolozzi was knighted as a Knight Bachelor.
  • He produced the artwork for the cover of Paul McCartney’s Red Rose Speedway album.
  • His bronze sculpture Netwon after Blake, completed in 1995, is located in the British Library’s forecourt, and his sculpture called A Miximus Ad Minima is in Kew Gardens.
  • He wrote several books during his career, including Recurring Themes, Junk and the New Arts and Crafts Movement, and Metalfisikal Translations.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi was good friends with Peter Boizot, the founder of the Soho Jazz Festival, and the Pizza Express restaurant chain.
  • He suffered a stroke in 2001. Following this, he used wheelchair to get around. He died in 2005 at the age of 81.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi loved American culture and he often included American advertisements and magazine images in his collages. He was also intrigued by the relationship between man and machines. His sculptures sometimes reflected this with scraps of metal taking on crude figurative forms.
  • His work was influenced by Surrealism and Cubism.

I don’t want to make prints that will help people to escape from the terrible world. I want to remind them.

Eduardo Paolozzi (1971)