Introducing Art & Artists | Eduardo Paolozzi

Introducing Art & Artists | Eduardo Paolozzi

[Music: jazz drumming] Narrator: Here are the words of Henry Ford,
the founder of the Ford Motor Company. This infamous quote is what Eduardo Paolozzi
was referencing in his series of collages: ‘Bunk!’ Bunk’s 47 collages were produced by Paolozzi
between 1947 and 1952. It’s considered by many to be a prototype
for Pop Art. ‘Evadne in green dimension’, the piece from
which the series derives its name is typical in its presentation of consumer goods, sex
symbols, and food advertisements all cut from American magazines, and combined in a dynamic composition. Collage was a technique that Paolozzi had
used since he was a young child growing up in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh. His compulsive filling of scrapbooks perhaps
laid the groundwork for a career that saw many of his sculptures and prints being made
in a collage fashion – built up from different imprints, or layers of objects and images. The ‘Bunk!’ series was created in London,
while Paolozzi studied fine art there and in Paris, where he travelled to after his
studies. It was while in Paris that Paolozzi developed
friendships with artists such as Giacometti and Dubuffet,
while also encountering a large collage by Duchamp. Paolozzi had first shown many of the images
from the series as part of a lecture he gave to a large invited audience at London’s ICA in 1952. This was the first time an artist had presented
such material in an intellectual context – and he was met with a divisive response. Some of the audience were laughing, and/or
in disbelief at Paolozzi’s desire for it to be treated
as serious art. Paolozzi himself realised that his approach was out of step with the British art establishment of the time saying: ‘Our culture decides, quite arbitrarily, what
is waste and rubbish But I have an African or Indian approach to what I find – I like to make use of everything I can’t bear to throw things away: a nice wine bottle, a nice box Sometimes I feel like a wizard in Toytown’. Voice of Paolozzi: ‘I made the great mistake of showing a lot of these drawings done from say, magazines and cigarette cartons,
to the Edinburgh College of Art to get in – and I was let in on the understanding
that one could forget all that and get on to real art…’ Narrator: It wasn’t until his 1971 retrospective
at the Tate Gallery that the series gained greater status and
cemented the reputation of Paolozzi. The collages were presented as a coherent
series and a set of prints of the series was created with both the original collages, and edition prints entering museum collections. The significance of ‘Bunk!’ as an artwork has
grown over the years and decades since its creation, and subsequent
manifestations. It may be a piece of history,
but it continues to live in the present. ‘Bunk!’ is certainly not bunk.

3 thoughts on “Introducing Art & Artists | Eduardo Paolozzi

  1. Gran artista, ilustrador y publicista, no lo conocia. Gracias a la magia del internet y particularmente de Youtube podemos acceder a esta enciclopedía universal.

  2. Lo descubro gracias a… David Bowie! Lo menciona en una nota en un programa de la T.V. Italiana. Que bueno, no?!

  3. Lo descubro gracias a… David Bowie! Lo menciona en una nota en un programa de la T.V. Italiana. Que bueno, no?!

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