Artwork by Eduardo Paolozzi,  Illumination and the Eye

Eduardo Paolozzi
Illumination and the Eye

colour serigraph
signed, dated “March 1967” and numbered 3/75 in the lower margin; unframed
40 x 26.75 ins ( 101.6 x 67.9 cms )

Auction Estimate: $800.00$600.00 - $800.00

Price Realized $720.00
Sale date: December 15th 2020

Collection of Joe Wolpe, Cape Town
A Private Canadian Collection
While suspending his formal studies for a year of military service in the Royal Pioneer Corps in the early 1940s, Paolozzi discovered La peinture moderne (1925) by the French Cubist painter Amédée Ozenfant and architect Le Corbusier, as well as Art (1928) by Ozenfant. These texts introduced him to formative images of Parisian avant-garde art, particularly Cubism and Purism, and reproductions of machinery—all prominent themes in his art throughout his career. In the 1960s and 1970s, Paolozzi revisited these subjects in serigraphs referencing machine imagery, including Illumination and the Eye, 1967. The abstract colour serigraph embodies the combination of the artist’s influences, namely, the later Cubist works of Ozenfant and Léger, together with machinery and architectural elements. Also during this period, Paolozzi experimented with industrial processes in large-scale sculpture, using aluminum, chrome-plated steel, and bronze to create abstracted anthropomorphic shapes.

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Eduardo Paolozzi
(1924 - 2005)

Eduardo Paolozzi was a Scottish artist and prominent influence on what became the Pop Art movement. Born on March 7, 1924 in Edinburgh to Italian immigrants, he was briefly interned under the Emergency Powers Act soon after Italy declared war on Britain in June 1940. Paolozzi subsequently studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1943 and the Central Saint Martins School of Art, London, in 1944. Moving to Paris that same year, he came into contact with many of the prominent avant-garde artists of the time, including Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Constantin Brancusi and Jean Arp. Returning to London in 1949, he became friends with Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon while teaching at the Central School of Art and Design.

From childhood Paolozzi collected ephemera— magazines, discarded toys, and other objets trouvés—which became the basis for a lifelong fascination with repurposing found objects and images in his art. He became known for his large-scale figurative sculptures, prints, and collages made from magazines and other found objects, forming a bridge between cubist-inspired geometry and early Pop Art.

Over the following decades, Paolozzi enjoyed widespread success, including being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1989, as well as numerous exhibitions and public art commissions. Paolozzi died on April 22, 2005, in London. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others.