Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) is a key figure in the history of postwar British art, both as co-founder of the Independent Group and father of the sixties Pop Art movement.
As a boy Paolozzi spent many hours working in the family shop where customers would give the young Eduardo cards from their cigarette packets featuring Hollywood stars, aircraft and submarines. He began to collect this ephemera alongside cuttings from American magazines, advertising prospectuses and technological journals, which he’d then splice together into scrapbooks and collages. Paolozzi described his resulting pieces as ‘ready-made metaphors’ and his fascination with the popular imagery of mass-culture, a veritable ‘catalogue of exotic society, bountiful and generous’ proved a life-long obsession.
While Paolozzi is known for his vital work across many mediums including sculpture, collage, drawing, ceramics and textile design, like contemporaries such as Hamilton and Hockney, for Paolozzi printmaking was a primary pursuit. He made a handful of prints in the 1950s but it was really in the sixties that Paolozzi’s in-depth exploration of the printmaking medium began to erupt. His love of collaged imagery was particularly well-suited to the new mediums of screenprinting and photo lithography.