smell of success
At 80, EDUARDO PAOLOZZI is the great grandfather of Scottish contemporary art. Mark Fisher traces his journey from ice-creams to proto pop.
be family of liduardo
Paolozzi were best known
for their sweet shop. Who‘s to say what influence the ice- creams and sherbet fountains had on the young Paolozzi. born in 1924 and brought tip at the foot of Edinburgh's Leith Walk. but what is certainly significant is that his father was also a gifted engineer.
Because. however varied Paolozzi‘s work has been. from the surrealist collages of the 19-10s to the brightly painted sculptures of the 1960s and the groundbreaking screen prints of the ()0s and 70s. he has always been a maker. His work is not theoretical. btit practical. He gets his hands dirty.
‘His father used to make radios and take apart motor carsf says Fiona Pearson. curator of the Dean Gallery's retrospective. ‘As a child. liduardo was encouraged to make model aeroplanes. so right from the word go. they were making things at home. In the sweet shop. the spare packaging that had come round the sweets. the cardboard and the paper. were all used by Eduardo as drawing materials. That interest in recycling has stayed with him throughout his career.‘
For Pearson the exhibition is a ten- year labour of love. Since suffering a stroke in 2000. followed by six months in a coma. Paolozzi has been in poor health. though he has maintained an active interest in the exhibition. Nevertheless. Pearson has been talking to him since I994 and she is basing the exhibition‘s accompanying notes on conversations from then. 'l‘m very grateful to liduardo because he opened my eyes to all sorts of aspects of the world around me which normally go unnoticed.’ she says. ‘A visit to Woolworths is special with liduardo because he points out things and you see the magic in reality. He has an extraordinary eye.‘
The 200 works. which are nearly all drawn from the National (iafferies‘ permanent collection. will fill
five rooms. each covering a chronological period of
his career. Room one is the |‘)-I0s. two the 50s. three the ()0s—70s. four the public projects of the 70s until
2000. and room five the heads and human figures of
88 THE LIST 27 May—10 Jun 2004
‘A VISIT TO WOOLWORTHS IS SPECIAL WITH EDUARDO BECAUSE YOU SEE THE MAGIC IN REALITY'
Rulers of the Earth come from the Ranks of the Insects from Zero Energy Experimental Pile (ZEEP), 1970
the 80s until 2000. That‘s in addition to the tapestry and two reliefs in the great hall. Murray (irigor‘s I987 film and the much-loved studio reconstruction that‘s on permanent display in the Dean.
‘He changes every decade or so.‘ says Pearson. ‘He doesn‘t stand still. He has a global vision of the world. He looks at every aspect of existence. He has the most amazing curiosity. He gathers information all the time. If you look at the studio reconstruction.
the door are all about information gathering. with newspapers. magazines. scissors for cutting out and folders of information piling tip on the floor.‘
()ne of the few constants that Pearson has spotted in this diverse
collage. It's there in his childhood scrapbooks. in the proto-pop work of the 40s and 50s. in his print making and in his sculpture. ‘He was the child of surrealism and the father of pop.‘ she says. 'He would rather be thought of as a radical surrealist than a pop artist. Through his pop art. he‘s reinventing another sort of surrealism.‘
Such an extensive retrospective will give us the chance to reassess his mighty output. So how good does Pearson think he is‘.’ 'I think he‘s very important.‘ she says. ‘He's on a par with Francis Bacon.‘
Paolozzi at 80, Dean Gallery, Edinburgh, Sat 29 May—Sun 31 Oct.
the two desk areas on either side of
body of work is Paolozzi‘s love of
SUMMER VOLUNTEERS ARE required to help with the Collective Gallery's off-site projects during the Edinburgh Festival from 9 August until 12 September. To apply, send a statement detailing your interest and any previous experience and availability to: Festival Volunteers, The Collective Gallery, 22-28 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1NY or email mail@collectivegallery. net. Deadline for applications is Monday 12 July.
THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY of Modern Art has won the £100,000 Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year for its landscaping project Landform. Designed by Charles Jencks. the stunning sculpted landform comprises a stepped. circular-shaped mound with three crescent-shaped pools of water. And staying with the Galleries. the Kresge Foundation, one of the biggest charitable foundations in the USA. has given more than £300,000 as a gift towards the E30m Playfair Project which is due to be completed in August.
THE TURNER PRIZE SHORTLIST this year includes Jeremy Deller (represented by Glasgow’s Modern Institute), Kutlug Ataman, Yinka Shonibare and Langlands & Bell for their replica of Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Afghanistan. Langlands & Bell will be showing a new installation at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute later this month. The works of all shortlisted artists will be on show at Tate Britain from October.
EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ARTS annual fashion show in May was another resounding success. The Morton Fraser Award for Best Performance Costume went to Piritta Kami; Kirsty Franey won the Betty Davies Scottish International Style Award and the Ocean Terminal Scottish Fashion Award for best graduating designer went to David McLeod. All the students, including Gayle Thorley (pictured), Anna Kelso. Henry Thomas and Deborah Chan, presented excellent collections.
ECA Fashion Show