Eduardo Paolozzi dominates the cultural life of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Sculptor, printmaker and, one might even say, icon, his work is instantly recognisable and recognised and chronicles the move from 1950’s austerity to 90’s Post-Modernism and beyond.
Varied and often challenging, Paolozzi’s work is sometimes categorised as Pop, though he himself always preferred to regard it as an extension to radical Surrealism. As well as sculpture and printmaking, he also worked with ceramics, collage, tapestry and film, ensuring, along the way, that he would touch at least some part of the public imagination. It is perhaps remarkable that someone whose work is not inherently conservative should achieve such a degree of recognition and even popularity.
Judith Collins provides the first comprehensive survey of Paolozzi’s career and its development from Edinburgh College of Art and the Ruskin Drawing School right through to the turn of the Millennium. The arrangement is largely chronological, but with inevitable overlaps as different media are treated separately. Such jumps as there are would be difficult to avoid without skating around topics in a way which would simply lead to confusion. Judith makes an excellent job of charting a way through the wealth of material she has to deal with.
The book is extensively and thoroughly illustrated and should satisfy anyone who wants a definitive but readable account of the career of a remarkable man.
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