Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005 )

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Queen's Sculptor in Ordinary to Scotland, has been producing sculptures for fifty years.

Born near Edinburgh in 1924, he was the son of Italian immigrants. His father sold ice cream as a means of livelihood. In 1940 he inherited the ice cream business, but at night he attended Edinburgh College where he studied Arts in order to become a commercial artist. In 1944 he attended the Slade Art School at Oxford.

About 1947 he went to France where he was deeply impressed by the work of Surrealist artists, with his most profound influence coming (indirectly) from Marcel Dechamp. In the 1960s his sculpture became geometric in origin, and in 1970 he was to design for the Wedgwood factory the series known as 'Variation on a Geometric Theme'.

Comprising six individual silk screen printed bone china plates, 200 sets of these were produced. Each plate exhibited colour variations.

In 1987 Paolozzi was to design again for the Wedgwood factory with 'The Kalkulium Suite' - with the six designs appearing again on a bone china medium, and the 'Quetzalotal' plate and mug. The 10" plates, in fine bone china, were issued in a limited edition of 750. The one pint mug is in Queen's Ware, and was limited to an edition of 2,000. His latest work for Wedgwood was the magnificent Black Basalt figure depicting Newton. Inspired by the painting by Blake, the sculpture was originally produced in bronze in order to stand outside The British Library in 1997. The scaled down version in Black Basalt was produced in a limited edition by the Wedgwood factory and has received much acclaim.

Paolozzi's work can be seen in leading Museum collections throughout the world including London's Tate Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He was appointed HM Sculpture in Ordinary for Scotland in 1986.


Eduardo Paolozzi, © Wedgwood Museum

Eduardo Paolozzi
© Wedgwood Museum