Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005)


Eduardo Paolozzi, Scottish-born of Italian parents, studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1942-43), and at the Slade (1944-47).  He had his first one-man show (of drawings) at the Mayor Gallery in London while still a student, the proceeds of which enabled him to move to Paris, where he lived until 1949.  While there he met Giacometti, Arp, Léger, Brancusi and Braque, and was influenced by the work of the Dadaists and Surrealists.  His interest in popular culture was stimulated by the art brut of Jean Dubuffet. 


After moving back to London in 1949 Paolozzi taught sculpture and ceramics at the Central School of Art (1949-1955), at St Martin’s School of Art (1955-58), and from 1968 to 2000 at the Royal College of Art.  He was a professor at the Fachhochschule in Cologne from 1977 to 1981, and also taught at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. 


Paolozzi’s work was included in the 1952 Venice Biennale, and again in the 1960 Biennale, when he won the David E Bright Foundation award for the best sculptor under the age of 45.  He had a retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 1971, and an Arts Council exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in 1987.  In 1994 Paolozzi gave a large body of his work to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which has been displayed in the Dean Gallery since 1999.  His public commissions include the ceramic wall murals for Tottenham Road tube station, and the bronze sculpture of Newton after Blake outside the new British Library at King’s Cross.  Paolozzi became a Royal Academician in 1979, was appointed Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland in 1986, and was knighted in 1989