Eduardo Paolozzi: Kew III



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Kew III, a lithograph (1998) by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005). Signed, dated and inscribed 'A/P', an artist's proof aside from the edition, printed on Somerset wove paper, full margins, sheet size 310mm by 410mm.

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi was born in Leith, Scotland, to Italian immigrant parents. He studied art at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1943, briefly at Saint Martin's School of Art in 1944, and then at the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London from 1944 to 1947, after which he worked in Paris. While in Paris from 1947–1949, Paolozzi became acquainted with Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Constantin BrâncuČ™i, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger. This period became an important influence for his later work. After Paris he returned to London, establishing a studio in Chelsea. He came to public attention in the 1950s by producing a range of striking screenprints and ′Art Brut′ sculpture. Paolozzi was a founder of the Independent Group in 1952, which is regarded as the precursor to the mid-1950s British and late 1950s American Pop Art movements. His seminal 1947 collage "I was a Rich Man's Plaything" is considered the earliest standard bearer representing Pop Art. He always described his work as surrealist art and, while working in a wide range of media though his career, became more closely associated with sculpture.

Paolozzi was appointed CBE in 1968 and in 1979 he was elected to the Royal Academy. During the late 1960s, he started contributing to literary magazine Ambit, which began a lifelong collaboration. He was promoted to the office of Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland in 1986, which he held until his death. Paolozzi was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1989. In 1994, Paolozzi gave the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art a large body of his works, and much of the content of his studio. In 1999 the National Galleries of Scotland opened the Dean Gallery to display this collection, and the gallery displays a recreation of Paolozzi's studio, with its contents evoking the original London and Munich locations. In 2001, Paolozzi suffered a near-fatal stroke (causing an incorrect magazine report that he had died). The illness made him a wheelchair user, and he died in a hospital in London in April 2005.