Prolific in his output, Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi was a sculptor, printmaker and textile designer. A pioneer of the Pop Art movement, his 1947 collage I Was a Rich Man’s Plaything, which used images from American magazines, is considered one of the earliest examples of what would go on to become Pop Art.
Born in Edinburgh to Italian immigrants, Paolozzi was interned as an enemy alien by the British government when Italy entered WWII. After his discharge, he enrolled at the Ruskin Drawing School at the Ashmolean in Oxford and transferred to the Slade in London after the war. He later moved to Paris where he met Alberto Giacometti and Constantin Brâncuși.
Fascinated by the relationship between man and machine, in the 1960s Paolozzi moved to working predominantly with polished metal sculpture. A retrospective of his work was held at the Tate in 1971 and a retrospective of his prints at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1977. He was elected to the Royal Academy the following year.
Paolozzi’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Tate, London, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, to whom he bequeathed much of his estate.