Paolozzi at Large in Edinburgh by Christine De Luca and Carlo Pirozzi

Paolozzi at Large in Edinburgh is an homage to this inestimable treasure inherited by the city. The inspiration for it has been Paolozzi’s unique way of making art as a ceaseless creative process, as a 'constant re-invention' of a 'world at large'. Reflecting the artist’s multifaceted approach, the book contains a vibrant combination of responses to his revolutionary oeuvre, in particular the Edinburgh masterpieces. These tributes include new poems in English with Italian translations, informed commentaries and responsive artworks.

Paolozzi at Large in Edinburgh is an homage to this inestimable treasure inherited by the city. The inspiration for it has been Paolozzi’s unique way of making art as a ceaseless creative process, as a 'constant re-invention' of a 'world at large'. Reflecting the artist’s multifaceted approach, the book contains a vibrant combination of responses to his revolutionary oeuvre, in particular the Edinburgh masterpieces. These tributes include new poems in English with Italian translations, informed commentaries and responsive artworks.


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eduardo paolozzi (1924–2005) was one of the<br />

gre<strong>at</strong>est Scottish <strong>and</strong> European artists of the 20th<br />

century. He was a prolific sculptor <strong>and</strong> pr<strong>in</strong>t maker<br />

as well as an <strong>in</strong>spir<strong>at</strong>ional teacher. His was an<br />

exceptional talent, draw<strong>in</strong>g on culture <strong>in</strong> all its<br />

forms, from classical myths to comics <strong>and</strong> ephemera.<br />

Most would agree he was the orig<strong>in</strong><strong>at</strong>or of the<br />

Pop Art movement.<br />

He was born <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh <strong>in</strong>to an immigrant<br />

Italian family whose orig<strong>in</strong>s were <strong>in</strong> Viticuso, a<br />

comune (municipality) <strong>in</strong> the Prov<strong>in</strong>ce of Fros<strong>in</strong>one<br />

<strong>in</strong> the Italian region Lazio, about 130 kilometres<br />

southeast of Rome. They ran an ice cream <strong>and</strong><br />

confectionary shop <strong>in</strong> Albert Street, Leith. There<br />

was no ‘silver spoon’ or p<strong>at</strong>ronage available, only<br />

<strong>in</strong>genuity <strong>and</strong> dedic<strong>at</strong>ion.<br />

<strong>De</strong>spite hav<strong>in</strong>g lived <strong>and</strong> worked <strong>in</strong> the cosmopolitan<br />

art worlds of London, Paris, Berl<strong>in</strong>, New<br />

York <strong>and</strong> Osaka, his n<strong>at</strong>ive city is where you will<br />

f<strong>in</strong>d not only some of his most arrest<strong>in</strong>g work but<br />

also a demonstr<strong>at</strong>ion of the breadth of his cre<strong>at</strong>ivity:<br />

from colossal bronzes to subtle sta<strong>in</strong>ed glass.<br />

Although some of his work is archived <strong>in</strong> the<br />

University of Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh, or held priv<strong>at</strong>ely, most is<br />

displayed as public art or exhibited <strong>in</strong> the N<strong>at</strong>ional<br />


<strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>at</strong> <strong>Large</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

artworks <strong>and</strong> cre<strong>at</strong>ive responses<br />

Edited <strong>by</strong> Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>De</strong> <strong>Luca</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Carlo</strong> <strong>Pirozzi</strong><br />

Lu<strong>at</strong>h Press Limited<br />



First published 2018<br />

isbn: 978-1-912147-83-3 Hardback<br />

isbn: 978-8-912147-88-5 Paperback<br />

The paper used <strong>in</strong> this book is recyclable. It is made<br />

from low chlor<strong>in</strong>e pulps produced <strong>in</strong> a low energy,<br />

low emissions manner from renewable forests.<br />

Pr<strong>in</strong>ted <strong>and</strong> bound <strong>by</strong> Bell & Ba<strong>in</strong> Ltd., Glasgow<br />

Typeset <strong>in</strong> 10.5 po<strong>in</strong>t Quadra<strong>at</strong> <strong>by</strong> 3btype.com<br />

The authors’ right to be identified as author of this<br />

work under the Copyright, <strong>De</strong>signs <strong>and</strong> P<strong>at</strong>ents Act<br />

1988 has been asserted.<br />

© Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>De</strong> <strong>Luca</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Carlo</strong> <strong>Pirozzi</strong> <strong>and</strong> the<br />

contributors, 2018

Contents<br />

Notes <strong>and</strong> Acknowledgments – <strong>Carlo</strong> <strong>Pirozzi</strong>..... 7<br />

Foreword – <strong>Carlo</strong> <strong>Pirozzi</strong>................................ 11<br />

Introduction – Fiona Pearson..........................13<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> Chronology – Kirstie Meehan.............14<br />

Part One<br />

Work <strong>in</strong> Progress – Andrew P<strong>at</strong>rizio ................19<br />

Tottenham Court Road Tube St<strong>at</strong>ion Mosaic<br />

Arch Fragments – Liv Laumenech................... 27<br />

Master of the Universe – Bill Hare .................. 35<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> Maquettes – Fiona Menzies............... 43<br />

The Manuscript of Monte Cass<strong>in</strong>o –<br />

Rob<strong>in</strong> Spencer ..............................................51<br />

The Wealth of N<strong>at</strong>ions – Elly Thomas ..............61<br />

Parthenope <strong>and</strong> Egeria – Judith Coll<strong>in</strong>s.............71<br />

Portrait of Joseph<strong>in</strong>e Baker – Lucy Weir ...........81<br />

Early People – David Clarke ........................... 89<br />

Vulcan – Kirstie Meehan................................ 99<br />

Millennium W<strong>in</strong>dow – Duncan Macmillan..... 107<br />

Studio Reconstruction – Fiona Pearson.......... 119<br />

Part Two<br />

Twelve convers<strong>at</strong>ions with Sir Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong><br />

– <strong>in</strong>troduced <strong>by</strong> Col<strong>in</strong> R Greenslade............... 129<br />

Michael Agnew rsa...................................... 132<br />

William Brotherston rsa............................. 134<br />

Alfons Bytautas rsa..................................... 136<br />

Doug Cocker rsa......................................... 138<br />

Michael Docherty rsa................................. 140<br />

Graham Fagen rsa ...................................... 142<br />

Paul Furneaux rsa .................................... 144<br />

Eileen Lawrence rsa.................................... 146<br />

Jim P<strong>at</strong>tison rsa......................................... 148<br />

Alan Robb rsa............................................ 150<br />

Michael Visocchi rsa................................... 152<br />

Arthur W<strong>at</strong>son prsa................................... 154<br />

Biographies ................................................ 156

Note <strong>and</strong> Acknowledgements<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>at</strong> <strong>Large</strong> <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh – co-edited with<br />

Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>De</strong> <strong>Luca</strong> – <strong>and</strong> the accompany<strong>in</strong>g exhibition<br />

<strong>at</strong> the Royal Scottish Academy (rsa) <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh,<br />

is part of my Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong> (ep) Project,<br />

an hommage to one of the gre<strong>at</strong>est Scottish <strong>and</strong><br />

European artists of the 20th century.<br />

This multi-discipl<strong>in</strong>ary ep Project began with<br />

this book which <strong>in</strong>cludes reproductions of 12 of<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s major artworks <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh, alongside<br />

12 poems written <strong>in</strong> response <strong>by</strong> Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>De</strong><br />

<strong>Luca</strong>, with transl<strong>at</strong>ions <strong>in</strong>to Italian <strong>by</strong> Francesca<br />

Romana Paci. For each of the artworks fe<strong>at</strong>ured,<br />

there is also an accompany<strong>in</strong>g cre<strong>at</strong>ive commentary<br />

written <strong>by</strong> a prom<strong>in</strong>ent researcher or arts<br />

comment<strong>at</strong>or, as well as more personal reflections<br />

<strong>by</strong> the writer Vivian French, whose brother, Ray<br />

W<strong>at</strong>son, was – for 30 years – <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s ma<strong>in</strong><br />

assis tant <strong>and</strong> model maker.<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> was an honorary member of the rsa, so<br />

it is fitt<strong>in</strong>g th<strong>at</strong> the second part of the book <strong>in</strong>cludes<br />

reproductions of artworks <strong>by</strong> current members of<br />

the rsa, cre<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> response to <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s pr<strong>in</strong>cipal<br />

themes.<br />

I would like to retrace how the idea for this<br />

book was born <strong>and</strong> then evolved with the support,<br />

generosity <strong>and</strong> skills of those who made valuable<br />

contributions to the project.<br />

Initially my idea was to commission Christ<strong>in</strong>e<br />

<strong>De</strong> <strong>Luca</strong> to write poems <strong>in</strong> response to the artworks<br />

<strong>by</strong> Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh, alongside<br />

commentaries <strong>by</strong> one of <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s closest friends,<br />

Rob<strong>in</strong> Spencer, a well-known art historian who had<br />

written extensively on the artist. Rob<strong>in</strong>’s sudden<br />

de<strong>at</strong>h soon after the start of the project was a real<br />

set-back but, with the k<strong>in</strong>d permission of his partner,<br />

Karen Moore, we were able to use Rob<strong>in</strong>’s<br />

s<strong>in</strong>gle commentary as a helpful templ<strong>at</strong>e <strong>in</strong> terms<br />

of approach, audience, length <strong>and</strong> style.<br />

I will always remember with gr<strong>at</strong>itude Rob<strong>in</strong>’s<br />

k<strong>in</strong>dness <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>vit<strong>in</strong>g Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong> I to meet him <strong>in</strong><br />

York, where we enjoyed a long ch<strong>at</strong> over lunch,<br />

with Rob<strong>in</strong> offer<strong>in</strong>g an illum<strong>in</strong><strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g perspective on<br />

the artist <strong>and</strong> on our project as he enthusiastically<br />

rem<strong>in</strong>isced about <strong>Paolozzi</strong>.<br />

Among the many people who have contributed<br />

to this project, first <strong>and</strong> foremost I must mention<br />

Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong> her enormous <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>valuable contribution,<br />

not only as dist<strong>in</strong>guished poet, but also as<br />

tireless <strong>and</strong> careful co-editor, <strong>and</strong> as unique collabor<strong>at</strong>or<br />

<strong>in</strong> develop<strong>in</strong>g aspects of my ep Project<br />

beyond this public<strong>at</strong>ion.<br />

We are particularly <strong>in</strong>debted to Andrew P<strong>at</strong>rizio<br />

<strong>and</strong> Kirstie Meehan, who contributed the <strong>Paolozzi</strong><br />

chronology. Andrew <strong>and</strong> Kirstie k<strong>in</strong>dly agreed to<br />

particip<strong>at</strong>e <strong>in</strong> the public<strong>at</strong>ion as authors <strong>and</strong> were<br />

enormously helpful <strong>in</strong> identify<strong>in</strong>g researchers will<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to take part <strong>in</strong> this specialist task. The group of<br />

people we managed to assemble, with their help, is<br />

impressive <strong>and</strong> we are <strong>in</strong>debted to them all: David<br />

Clarke, Judith Coll<strong>in</strong>s, Bill Hare, Liv Laumenech,<br />

Duncan Macmillan, Fiona Menzies, Fiona Pearson,<br />

Elly Thomas <strong>and</strong> Lucy Weir.<br />

We are very gr<strong>at</strong>eful to Francesca Romana Paci,<br />

who had previously transl<strong>at</strong>ed Christ<strong>in</strong>e’s poetry,<br />

for her splendid versions of the ekphrastic poems<br />

<strong>in</strong> Italian, add<strong>in</strong>g a special texture to the book <strong>and</strong><br />

reflect<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s Scottish-Italian background.<br />

The book would not have been complete without<br />

some reference to the legacy of <strong>Paolozzi</strong> as<br />

artist <strong>and</strong> teacher. We would particularly like to<br />

thank the rsa Director, Col<strong>in</strong> Greenslade, who<br />

was more than helpful <strong>in</strong> collect<strong>in</strong>g images of work<br />

cre<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>by</strong> academicians <strong>in</strong> response to <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s<br />

oeuvre <strong>and</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g an <strong>in</strong>troduction to their works.<br />

We are <strong>in</strong>debted to each of those artists: Michael<br />

Agnew, William Brotherston, Alfons Bytautas,<br />

Doug Cocker, Michael Docherty, Graham Fagen,<br />

Paul Furneaux, Eileen Lawrence, Jim P<strong>at</strong>tison, Alan<br />

Robb, Michael Visocchi <strong>and</strong> Arthur W<strong>at</strong>son. We<br />

are also very gr<strong>at</strong>eful to Col<strong>in</strong>, <strong>and</strong> his supportive<br />

staff, particularly Flora La Thangue, for their generous<br />

help with organis<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> host<strong>in</strong>g the launch of<br />

the book <strong>and</strong> the ep Project <strong>at</strong> the prestigious rsa<br />

Galleries <strong>in</strong> October 2018.<br />

F<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g appropri<strong>at</strong>e images has not been<br />

straightforward but we wish to acknowledge the<br />

help of the University of Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh Art Collection<br />

staff, the N<strong>at</strong>ional Galleries of Scotl<strong>and</strong> (ngs), the<br />

note <strong>and</strong> acknowledgements 7

N<strong>at</strong>ional Museum of Scotl<strong>and</strong>, the Royal Bank of<br />

Scotl<strong>and</strong>, the City of Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh Council, St Mary’s<br />

Episcopal C<strong>at</strong>hedral <strong>and</strong> the photographers Dave<br />

S<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> Luigi Giannetti. Special thanks to Ray<br />

Bird for his powerful image for the front cover of<br />

the book.<br />

We are delighted th<strong>at</strong> Fiona Pearson agreed to<br />

write an <strong>in</strong>troduction – she worked with <strong>Paolozzi</strong><br />

over many years <strong>in</strong> her role as a Senior Cur<strong>at</strong>or <strong>at</strong><br />

ngs – <strong>and</strong> th<strong>at</strong> Vivian French was happy to write<br />

‘beh<strong>in</strong>d the scenes’ sketches to enliven the text.<br />

We would like to express our gr<strong>at</strong>itude to the<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> Found<strong>at</strong>ion, <strong>in</strong> particular to To<strong>by</strong> Treves,<br />

who very k<strong>in</strong>dly granted permission for us to reproduce<br />

all <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s works.<br />

The ep Project has gener<strong>at</strong>ed many cre<strong>at</strong>ive<br />

off shoots. The first of these was the cre<strong>at</strong>ion of an<br />

<strong>in</strong>teractive map, which will fe<strong>at</strong>ure on the Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

World Heritage website, identify<strong>in</strong>g art -<br />

works <strong>by</strong> <strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>and</strong> loc<strong>at</strong>ions l<strong>in</strong>ked to his early<br />

life <strong>in</strong> the city. Special thanks to Helga Pavelkova<br />

who cre<strong>at</strong>ed this wonderful <strong>Paolozzi</strong>- <strong>in</strong>spired<br />

touch: we have been able to use it for both the<br />

endpapers of this book <strong>and</strong> for the home page of<br />

the ep Project Map website. It is an honour th<strong>at</strong><br />

Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh World Heritage funded part of the ep<br />

Project <strong>and</strong> developed the website l<strong>in</strong>ked with this<br />

public<strong>at</strong>ion.<br />

All artworks fe<strong>at</strong>ured on this <strong>in</strong>teractive Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

‘map’ will be accompanied <strong>by</strong> l<strong>in</strong>ks to orig<strong>in</strong>al<br />

podcasts of some of the poems <strong>by</strong> Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>De</strong><br />

<strong>Luca</strong>, as well as new cre<strong>at</strong>ive responses written <strong>by</strong><br />

other writers, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g a fasc<strong>in</strong><strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g short story <strong>by</strong><br />

Alex<strong>and</strong>er McCall Smith. Each loc<strong>at</strong>ion on the map<br />

connected to <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s life will l<strong>in</strong>k to record<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

of his friends, family <strong>and</strong> colleagues rem<strong>in</strong>isc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

about the artist, <strong>and</strong> discuss<strong>in</strong>g his powerful presence<br />

<strong>in</strong> the city. These <strong>in</strong>clude his sister, Yol<strong>and</strong>a,<br />

the writer Vivian French, <strong>and</strong> the well-known artist<br />

<strong>and</strong> arts promoter Richard <strong>De</strong>marco.<br />

The ep Project will cont<strong>in</strong>ue to cre<strong>at</strong>e <strong>and</strong> to<br />

promote new artworks <strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> <strong>Paolozzi</strong>,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g work <strong>by</strong> students, communities <strong>and</strong><br />

artists. One upcom<strong>in</strong>g part of the project is a series<br />

of ‘<strong>Paolozzi</strong> walks’ <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh <strong>and</strong> we would<br />

particularly like to thank Ken Cockburn for develop<strong>in</strong>g<br />

this. We would also like to thank Col<strong>in</strong><br />

W<strong>at</strong>ers from the Scottish Poetry Library for record<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>and</strong> edit<strong>in</strong>g podcasts.<br />

All parts of the ep Project – strongly <strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong><br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s way of mak<strong>in</strong>g art as a cre<strong>at</strong>ive process<br />

th<strong>at</strong> ‘never stops’ – are fe<strong>at</strong>ured on the University<br />

of Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh’s Italo-Scottish Research Cluster<br />

(isrc) website, directed <strong>by</strong> Federica Pedriali <strong>and</strong><br />

coord<strong>in</strong><strong>at</strong>ed <strong>by</strong> myself. The isrc, funded through<br />

a <strong>Large</strong> Research Grant from the Carnegie Trust<br />

for the Universities of Scotl<strong>and</strong> (2012–2013), is<br />

the first onl<strong>in</strong>e archive <strong>in</strong> the uk to preserve<br />

historical document<strong>at</strong>ion rel<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g to the Italo-<br />

Scots, <strong>and</strong> to develop projects <strong>and</strong> collabor<strong>at</strong>ions<br />

between Scotl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> Italy. Italo-Scots form one<br />

of Scotl<strong>and</strong>’s largest immigrant communities over<br />

the last 150 years.<br />

Special thanks to Kirsty Dunsmore, Head of<br />

Market<strong>in</strong>g <strong>at</strong> the Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh Beer Factory, for her<br />

support s<strong>in</strong>ce the beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g of the project <strong>and</strong> for<br />

sponsor<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>in</strong>itial launch of the book. The<br />

Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh Beer Factory is a family run, <strong>in</strong>dependent<br />

brewery founded <strong>in</strong> 2015 <strong>by</strong> the Dunsmore<br />

family.<br />

Special thanks to Luc<strong>in</strong>da By<strong>at</strong>t (University of<br />

Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh) for her splendid transl<strong>at</strong>ion of my brief<br />

foreword.<br />

A huge ‘thank you’ from Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong> me to all<br />

<strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the <strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>at</strong> <strong>Large</strong> <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh book.<br />

This must <strong>in</strong>clude our publisher, Gav<strong>in</strong> MacDougall<br />

of Lu<strong>at</strong>h Press, for his faith <strong>in</strong> this project, <strong>and</strong><br />

his staff for their diligence <strong>and</strong> helpfulness.<br />

Last but not least, I would like to mention a few<br />

more people who have played an important role <strong>in</strong><br />

help<strong>in</strong>g me personally to develop all these projects<br />

on <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, start<strong>in</strong>g a few years ago.<br />

I am particularly <strong>in</strong>debted to Margaret Rose<br />

(University of Milan) who strongly <strong>in</strong>spired me to<br />

work on <strong>Paolozzi</strong>.<br />

I am very gr<strong>at</strong>eful to Charles Burdett (University<br />

of Bristol) <strong>and</strong> <strong>De</strong>rek Duncan (University of St<br />

Andrews) with whom I previously worked on the<br />

8 paolozzi <strong>at</strong> large <strong>in</strong> ed<strong>in</strong>burgh

<strong>in</strong>nov<strong>at</strong>ive <strong>and</strong> challeng<strong>in</strong>g ‘Transn<strong>at</strong>ionaliz<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Modern Languages’ Project (founded <strong>by</strong> the Arts &<br />

Humanities Research Council, 2014–2017). They<br />

also supervised my research on the Italo-Scots<br />

community.<br />

I would like to express my gr<strong>at</strong>itude for the<br />

unfail<strong>in</strong>g support, encouragement <strong>and</strong> guidance of<br />

Davide Mess<strong>in</strong>a (University of Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh), with<br />

whom I am now work<strong>in</strong>g as Teach<strong>in</strong>g Fellow <strong>in</strong> the<br />

vibrant Italian <strong>De</strong>partment.<br />

F<strong>in</strong>ally, I dedic<strong>at</strong>e <strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>at</strong> <strong>Large</strong> <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

to my current <strong>De</strong>partment <strong>in</strong> the University of<br />

Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh which, dur<strong>in</strong>g the Academic Year<br />

2018–2019, is celebr<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g the Centenary of the first<br />

Italian Studies department <strong>in</strong> Scotl<strong>and</strong>, form ally<br />

cre<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> 1919.<br />

<strong>Carlo</strong> <strong>Pirozzi</strong><br />

note <strong>and</strong> acknowledgements 9

Foreword<br />

the city is a metaphor of humank<strong>in</strong>d <strong>and</strong> its<br />

languages, or more precisely of the <strong>in</strong>separable<br />

bond between humanitas <strong>and</strong> polis th<strong>at</strong> determ<strong>in</strong>es<br />

the sense of belong<strong>in</strong>g to a precise place, <strong>and</strong> to a<br />

culture <strong>and</strong> a language.<br />

If the city is a place of identity, then to the<br />

foreign <strong>and</strong> familiar eyes of the person writ<strong>in</strong>g, who<br />

first arrived <strong>in</strong> this city ten years ago, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh has<br />

always appeared as a place of bewitch<strong>in</strong>g yet alien<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

charm, ow<strong>in</strong>g to its special beauty, its sweep<strong>in</strong>g<br />

skyl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong> the unusual sens<strong>at</strong>ion it offers of<br />

be<strong>in</strong>g unlike any other city. It is easy to lose oneself<br />

among the narrow, light-filled closes th<strong>at</strong> thread<br />

through the tall, curv<strong>in</strong>g streets, form<strong>in</strong>g one of<br />

the most beautiful medieval <strong>and</strong> gothic city centres,<br />

the Old Town. This leads <strong>and</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ally merges <strong>in</strong>to<br />

the geometric plans of the Georgian New Town,<br />

cre<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g a heady sense of plung<strong>in</strong>g towards the<br />

coast whenever the typical soot-coloured sky <strong>in</strong>ks<br />

the sea <strong>in</strong> the same hue, eras<strong>in</strong>g the horizon <strong>and</strong><br />

sett<strong>in</strong>g the scene, accompanied <strong>by</strong> the raucous<br />

mew<strong>in</strong>g of gulls, for the world’s end.<br />

In this typically Scottish scenario, even <strong>at</strong> a<br />

distance from Hadrian’s Wall which decreed its<br />

non- existence, <strong>and</strong> while still preserv<strong>in</strong>g its<br />

dist<strong>in</strong>ctive, monolithic n<strong>at</strong>ure, proud of its deep<br />

roots, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh is amaz<strong>in</strong>gly open; it extends a<br />

unique if slightly reserved welcome – not very<br />

tactile but nonetheless hospitable <strong>and</strong> gentlemanly,<br />

neither selective nor overly obsessive – to<br />

the disconcert<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>vasion of artists <strong>and</strong> visitors<br />

from all parts of the world whom it hosts every<br />

summer.<br />

It was while I was walk<strong>in</strong>g through Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

<strong>in</strong> the guise of an unwitt<strong>in</strong>g flâneur, feel<strong>in</strong>g strangely<br />

<strong>at</strong> home but <strong>at</strong> the same time disorient<strong>at</strong>ed,<br />

simply because the surround<strong>in</strong>g space was so<br />

different to th<strong>at</strong> of my n<strong>at</strong>ive country, th<strong>at</strong> I came<br />

across an enigm<strong>at</strong>ic sculpture, The Manuscript of<br />

Monte Cass<strong>in</strong>o <strong>by</strong> Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, a powerful<br />

artwork composed of three colossal body parts – a<br />

foot, an ankle <strong>and</strong> a h<strong>and</strong> – then sited outside St<br />

Mary’s Metropolitan C<strong>at</strong>hedral but now reloc<strong>at</strong>ed<br />

to Hillside Crescent Gardens.<br />

This was perhaps the moment when the idea<br />

was born th<strong>at</strong> eventually grew <strong>in</strong>to this book.<br />

I recognised an object th<strong>at</strong> belonged to my own<br />

Italian culture, but was <strong>at</strong> the same time foreign to<br />

it. It was an object th<strong>at</strong> was completely out of place<br />

<strong>in</strong> this particular urban sett<strong>in</strong>g, like a meteorite<br />

th<strong>at</strong> had plummeted from another world, fus<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the space around it <strong>and</strong> allow<strong>in</strong>g the observer to<br />

contempl<strong>at</strong>e it <strong>in</strong> total solitude, full of amazement.<br />

How can this artwork reveal a sense of belong<strong>in</strong>g<br />

(or not) <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong> rel<strong>at</strong>ion to wh<strong>at</strong> identities,<br />

wh<strong>at</strong> backgrounds? Where is it from? How does<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s artwork trace <strong>and</strong> reformul<strong>at</strong>e an Italian<br />

identity or a Scottish/English/British one <strong>in</strong> res ponse<br />

to either his Italian cultural background or his<br />

homel<strong>and</strong>?<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> has been seen as an ‘outsider’, a<br />

‘maverick’, as some critics have written, even if he<br />

described himself as ‘a curious k<strong>in</strong>d of European<br />

hybrid on the English l<strong>and</strong>scape’. And The Manuscript<br />

<strong>and</strong> the other powerful works presented here<br />

<strong>and</strong> displayed <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh, a city th<strong>at</strong> seems to<br />

house <strong>and</strong> protect them with extraord<strong>in</strong>ary reverence,<br />

reveal a unique, hybrid beauty whose provenance<br />

seems hard to trace.<br />

They are objects made <strong>by</strong> quasi-div<strong>in</strong>e h<strong>and</strong>s,<br />

I would say – transcultural, transn<strong>at</strong>ional objects,<br />

or objects from another world – which only a giant<br />

<strong>in</strong> the Olympus of art, like <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, could cre<strong>at</strong>e<br />

<strong>and</strong>, <strong>in</strong> this case, gift to his n<strong>at</strong>ive city, as if they<br />

were emblem<strong>at</strong>ic signals of a future th<strong>at</strong> is already<br />

present, marked <strong>by</strong> profound, <strong>and</strong> cont<strong>in</strong>uous<br />

cultural <strong>and</strong> artistic contam<strong>in</strong><strong>at</strong>ions which overturn<br />

<strong>and</strong> shape the skyl<strong>in</strong>e of the world.<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>at</strong> <strong>Large</strong> <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh pays hommage to<br />

this prodigious artist <strong>and</strong> his works through an<br />

ambitious <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>nov<strong>at</strong>ive collage of poetry, transl<strong>at</strong>ions,<br />

comments <strong>and</strong> artworks which dialogue<br />

with the enormous legacy left <strong>by</strong> the artist to his<br />

n<strong>at</strong>ive city, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh. In the same way th<strong>at</strong>, for<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong>, collage was much more than a technique,<br />

<strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>deed represented the real essence of his art,<br />

the present volume tries to emul<strong>at</strong>e th<strong>at</strong> audacious<br />

gesture of assembl<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> juxtapos<strong>in</strong>g different<br />

foreword 11

languages <strong>and</strong> images, <strong>in</strong>vit<strong>in</strong>g the reader to<br />

discover both the wonder of the artist’s works <strong>and</strong><br />

the endless cre<strong>at</strong>ive short-circuit th<strong>at</strong> was sparked<br />

<strong>by</strong> admir<strong>in</strong>g them.<br />

Now th<strong>at</strong> the book is done, th<strong>at</strong> short-circuit<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ues to gener<strong>at</strong>e other stimul<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g new<br />

artworks <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly explosive ideas, because<br />

Italo Calv<strong>in</strong>o was right when he said <strong>in</strong> Invisible<br />

Cities, ‘rarely does the eye light on a th<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> then<br />

only when it has recognized th<strong>at</strong> th<strong>in</strong>g as the sign<br />

of another th<strong>in</strong>g’.<br />

<strong>Carlo</strong> <strong>Pirozzi</strong><br />

12 paolozzi <strong>at</strong> large <strong>in</strong> ed<strong>in</strong>burgh

Introduction<br />

this celebr<strong>at</strong>ion of Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s works<br />

<strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh through the evoc<strong>at</strong>ive poetry of<br />

Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>De</strong> <strong>Luca</strong> has brought together many<br />

people who either knew or are <strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> the<br />

artist. It is a project he would have loved be<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

keen poet himself <strong>and</strong> a reader of Michelangelo’s<br />

sonnets. It is a wonderful rem<strong>in</strong>der of the artist’s<br />

Italian roots <strong>and</strong> his upbr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g speak<strong>in</strong>g peasant<br />

dialect Italian, classic Italian, Scots <strong>and</strong> English.<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> was a global figure <strong>and</strong> a visionary.<br />

His work touched on all aspects of human endeavour<br />

<strong>and</strong> different cultures. From prehistory to the<br />

space age, from tribal artefacts to Leonardo da<br />

V<strong>in</strong>ci, he relished the spark of cre<strong>at</strong>ivity th<strong>at</strong> runs<br />

through all civilis<strong>at</strong>ions. It is therefore a real tribute<br />

to his teach<strong>in</strong>g skills <strong>and</strong> mentorships th<strong>at</strong> a<br />

large group of members of the Royal Scottish<br />

Academy are able to share their works which are<br />

supercharged <strong>by</strong> his example.<br />

The eyewitness account of Vivian French, sister<br />

to Ray W<strong>at</strong>son, <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s chief assistant, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

explan<strong>at</strong>ions of each work or works <strong>by</strong> scholars<br />

br<strong>in</strong>g alive th<strong>at</strong> sense of restless energy which<br />

eman<strong>at</strong>ed from the artist. His immense curiosity<br />

about everyth<strong>in</strong>g, the sensitive read<strong>in</strong>g of situ<strong>at</strong>ions<br />

<strong>and</strong> his sometimes brutal responses fed <strong>in</strong>to<br />

an ever-chang<strong>in</strong>g body of work. Sculptures, collages,<br />

pr<strong>in</strong>ts, books, films, textiles, ceramics, glass, public<br />

projects, mosaic, poetry, collage texts, puppets,<br />

<strong>in</strong>stall<strong>at</strong>ions, cur<strong>at</strong>ed exhibitions, slide lectures,<br />

workshops, masterclasses, activism <strong>in</strong> key issues<br />

like ecology <strong>and</strong> peace were manifest <strong>in</strong> his life.<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> was born <strong>in</strong> 1924 <strong>in</strong> Leith, the port for<br />

Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh, <strong>and</strong> dreamed <strong>in</strong> its c<strong>in</strong>emas, drew the<br />

crab fishermen <strong>and</strong> sculpted horses from the<br />

stables <strong>at</strong> the end of Albert Street where his parents’<br />

ice cream <strong>and</strong> confectionary shop was situ<strong>at</strong>ed. He<br />

gave sculpture to <strong>and</strong> showed <strong>at</strong> the N<strong>at</strong>ional<br />

Galleries of Scotl<strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong> the early ’60s <strong>and</strong> made his<br />

Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh public projects <strong>in</strong> the 1990s, decid<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

1994 to don<strong>at</strong>e his studio contents to the Scottish<br />

N<strong>at</strong>ional Gallery of Modern Art which had a<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> cur<strong>at</strong>orship from 1994 to 2010. The<br />

bequest of Rob<strong>in</strong> Spencer this year to fund a new<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> cur<strong>at</strong>orship <strong>and</strong> pass on all his <strong>Paolozzi</strong><br />

papers to the N<strong>at</strong>ional Galleries of Scotl<strong>and</strong> will<br />

ensure a new gener<strong>at</strong>ion of <strong>Paolozzi</strong> scholars <strong>and</strong><br />

fans.<br />

A huge vote of thanks must go to Christ<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>Carlo</strong> for their rich response to the work of Sir<br />

Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong>. Their br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g together the<br />

artistic community to pay tribute <strong>and</strong> to respond to<br />

the works <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh is a rem<strong>in</strong>der of the power<br />

of art to make us look anew <strong>at</strong> the world every day.<br />

Fiona Pearson<br />

<strong>in</strong>troduction 13

Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong> Chronology<br />

1924 Born <strong>at</strong> 6 Crown Place, Leith, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

1929–1936 Attends Leith Walk Primary School<br />

1936–1940 Attends Holy Cross Academy<br />

1940 Interned for three months <strong>in</strong> Saughton Prison,<br />

Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh, with his f<strong>at</strong>her <strong>and</strong> gr<strong>and</strong>f<strong>at</strong>her as an<br />

enemy alien<br />

1 July 1940 Torpedo<strong>in</strong>g of the SS Ar<strong>and</strong>ora Star en route to Canada<br />

result<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the de<strong>at</strong>hs of <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s f<strong>at</strong>her <strong>and</strong><br />

gr<strong>and</strong>f<strong>at</strong>her<br />

1941 Enrols <strong>at</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh College of Art, <strong>in</strong>itially tak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

even<strong>in</strong>g classes<br />

1943–1944 N<strong>at</strong>ional Service <strong>in</strong> the Royal Pioneer Corps<br />

1944–1947 Attends the Slade School of F<strong>in</strong>e Art, then situ<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>in</strong><br />

Oxford: studies sculpture <strong>and</strong> draw<strong>in</strong>g<br />

1947 First solo exhibition: Draw<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>by</strong> Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, The<br />

Mayor Gallery, London, 14 January–1 February<br />

1947 Moves to Paris: met, among others, Jean Arp, Georges<br />

Braque, Constant<strong>in</strong> Brancusi, Tristan Tzara. Enrols <strong>at</strong><br />

the École des Beaux-Arts<br />

1949–1950 Returns to London <strong>and</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>s teach<strong>in</strong>g textile design<br />

<strong>at</strong> Central School of Art<br />

1951 Marries textile designer Freda Elliott<br />

1952 Shows Bunk! <strong>at</strong> the Institute of Contemporary Arts<br />

1953 Organises the exhibition Parallel of Life <strong>and</strong> Art with<br />

Alison <strong>and</strong> Peter Smithson, co-founders of the<br />

Independent Group, <strong>and</strong> Nigel Henderson<br />

1955–1958 Teaches sculpture <strong>at</strong> St Mart<strong>in</strong>’s School of Art<br />

1956 Exhibits <strong>in</strong> This Is Tomorrow <strong>at</strong> Whitechapel Gallery,<br />

London<br />

1960–1962 Teaches <strong>at</strong> Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg<br />

1968–1989 Teaches ceramics <strong>at</strong> Royal College of Art<br />

1971 First major retrospective: Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, T<strong>at</strong>e Gallery<br />

(22 September–31 October)<br />

1975 Commissioned <strong>by</strong> Glasgow University to cre<strong>at</strong>e the<br />

doors for the Hunterian Gallery<br />

1977–1981 Teaches ceramics <strong>at</strong> Fachbereich Kunst und <strong>De</strong>sign,<br />

Cologne<br />

1979 Appo<strong>in</strong>ted Royal Academician<br />

14 paolozzi <strong>at</strong> large <strong>in</strong> ed<strong>in</strong>burgh

1980–1986 Commissioned <strong>by</strong> Transport for London to cre<strong>at</strong>e<br />

Tottenham Court Road mosaics<br />

1981–1990 Appo<strong>in</strong>ted Professor of Sculpture <strong>at</strong> the Akademie der<br />

bildenden Künst, Munich<br />

1984 Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong> Recurr<strong>in</strong>g Themes Exhibition, for<br />

the Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh Intern<strong>at</strong>ional Festival<br />

1985 Purchase of the ‘Krazy K<strong>at</strong> Arkive’ <strong>by</strong> Victoria & Albert<br />

Museum, London<br />

1986 Appo<strong>in</strong>ted Her Majesty’s Sculptor <strong>in</strong> Ord<strong>in</strong>ary for<br />

Scotl<strong>and</strong><br />

1989 Appo<strong>in</strong>ted Visit<strong>in</strong>g Professor <strong>at</strong> the Royal College of<br />

Art. Knighted<br />

1991 Unveil<strong>in</strong>g of The Manuscript of Monte Cass<strong>in</strong>o, Picardy<br />

Place, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

1992 The Wealth of N<strong>at</strong>ions commissioned <strong>by</strong> the Royal Bank<br />

of Scotl<strong>and</strong>, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

1995 University of Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh commissions large bronze<br />

figures Parthenope <strong>and</strong> Egeria for the K<strong>in</strong>gs’ Build<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

Don<strong>at</strong>es the <strong>Paolozzi</strong> Gift to the N<strong>at</strong>ional Galleries of<br />

Scotl<strong>and</strong>, compris<strong>in</strong>g over 2,000 pr<strong>in</strong>ts, 500 draw<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

9,000 photographs, 3,000 slides <strong>and</strong> a significant<br />

amount of archive m<strong>at</strong>erial<br />

Beg<strong>in</strong>s work on Vulcan for the <strong>De</strong>an Gallery (now<br />

Modern Two), Scottish N<strong>at</strong>ional Gallery of Modern Art<br />

1997 Commissioned <strong>by</strong> the Museum of Scotl<strong>and</strong> to make 12<br />

bronze figures (Early People)<br />

1998 Commissioned to cre<strong>at</strong>e the sta<strong>in</strong>ed glass w<strong>in</strong>dows for<br />

St Mary’s Episcopal C<strong>at</strong>hedral, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

1999 Open<strong>in</strong>g of the <strong>De</strong>an Gallery (now Modern Two),<br />

hous<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>Paolozzi</strong> Studio <strong>and</strong> Vulcan, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

2005 Dies 22 April<br />

Eduardo <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s work cont<strong>in</strong>ues to be widely<br />

exhibited, most notably the retrospective exhibition <strong>at</strong><br />

the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017). The Scottish<br />

N<strong>at</strong>ional Gallery cont<strong>in</strong>ues to mount exhibitions<br />

which fe<strong>at</strong>ure his work eg Warhol <strong>and</strong> <strong>Paolozzi</strong> ‘I want<br />

to be a Mach<strong>in</strong>e’ <strong>at</strong> Modern Two (2018)<br />

eduardo paolozzi chronology 15

Part one <strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>at</strong> <strong>Large</strong> <strong>in</strong> Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh

Work <strong>in</strong> Progress

“<br />

Eduardo was a compulsive hoarder <strong>and</strong> collector of th<strong>in</strong>gs th<strong>at</strong><br />

might one day ‘come <strong>in</strong> useful’. He <strong>and</strong> Ray never passed a skip<br />

without div<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>spect<strong>in</strong>g the contents, usually haul<strong>in</strong>g<br />

out <strong>at</strong> least a couple of items. My brother had an old Ford van;<br />

it was often stuffed full of miscellaneous bits <strong>and</strong> pieces th<strong>at</strong><br />

eventually ended up on a shelf <strong>in</strong> one of EP’s studios… or on the<br />

floor. Although 1962 is well before Ray’s time, I imag<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Eduardo enjoyed cre<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g this piece very much.<br />

”<br />

Work <strong>in</strong> Progress – collabor<strong>at</strong>ion with RB Kitaj<br />

(1932–2007)<br />

d<strong>at</strong>e: 1962<br />

medium: Paper <strong>and</strong> t<strong>in</strong> collage <strong>in</strong> pa<strong>in</strong>ted wooden frame<br />

dimensions: 85.3 cm x 100.0 cm<br />

provenance: Beque<strong>at</strong>hed <strong>by</strong> Gabrielle Keiller, 1995<br />

loc<strong>at</strong>ion: Scottish N<strong>at</strong>ional Gallery of Modern Art, Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh<br />

copyright: © RB Kitaj Est<strong>at</strong>e <strong>and</strong> Trustees of the <strong>Paolozzi</strong><br />

Found<strong>at</strong>ion, Licensed <strong>by</strong> dacs<br />

Collection of the N<strong>at</strong>ional Galleries of Scotl<strong>and</strong><br />

Photography <strong>by</strong> Antonia Reeve

Collage<br />

Perhaps you’d found Kitaj – this outsider to the London set –<br />

a k<strong>in</strong>dred spirit <strong>in</strong> Pop Art, collage, the textual approach?<br />

You’d collabor<strong>at</strong>e with him, but call the shots:<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k up the concept, cre<strong>at</strong>e the overall design, select<br />

signifiers – old toys <strong>and</strong> t<strong>in</strong>s, draw<strong>in</strong>gs, photographs.<br />

But an altarpiece as form<strong>at</strong>? Was it Babel’s stories:<br />

his juxtapos<strong>in</strong>g of greed <strong>and</strong> generosity; run-of-the-mill<br />

brutality <strong>and</strong> beauty? Wh<strong>at</strong> use a God without knowledge<br />

of such th<strong>in</strong>gs? But then we’re all a Work <strong>in</strong> Progress.<br />

One crucified Christ should suffice a central panel;<br />

but no, you made it five, add<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>sult to <strong>in</strong>jury, layer<br />

upon layer, with extra thorns, <strong>in</strong>cisions, blood.<br />

Whose h<strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>scribed th<strong>at</strong> text? You must have kept it<br />

<strong>in</strong> a drawer of scraps, along with resurrection words,<br />

to paste across a chosen mouth. Th<strong>at</strong> one top right.<br />

You gave those to the Jew to assemble; <strong>and</strong> the photos<br />

of a priest. Wh<strong>at</strong> were you tell<strong>in</strong>g him? Wh<strong>at</strong> did he say?<br />

Eleven panels: a f<strong>in</strong>e prime number. You kept the fun ones<br />

for yourself – predella <strong>and</strong> pilaster. T<strong>in</strong>s fl<strong>at</strong>tened, cut<br />

to fit the frames: th<strong>at</strong> toy eng<strong>in</strong>e, a clock (but upside<br />

-down), an olive oil can, a plane over Manh<strong>at</strong>tan; odd<br />

narr<strong>at</strong>ives, support<strong>in</strong>g sa<strong>in</strong>ts of this <strong>and</strong> th<strong>at</strong>. And the<br />

carpenter you chose (no cross to make or bear), his task –<br />

a sturdy pl<strong>in</strong>th, a p<strong>in</strong>nacle of forty-three prime colours.<br />

We st<strong>and</strong> back, absorb the unorthodox, a visual liturgy.<br />

22 paolozzi <strong>at</strong> large <strong>in</strong> ed<strong>in</strong>burgh

Collage<br />

Forse hai trov<strong>at</strong>o <strong>in</strong> Kitaj – quell’outsider del set lond<strong>in</strong>ese –<br />

uno spirito gemello nella Pop Art, collage, metodo testuale?<br />

Collaboravi con lui, ma restavi ai com<strong>and</strong>i:<br />

pensare il concetto, creare il disegno complessivo, selezionare<br />

i significanti – vecchi gioc<strong>at</strong>toli e l<strong>at</strong>t<strong>in</strong>e, disegni, fotografie.<br />

Ma una pala d’altare come form<strong>at</strong> ? Era come Babel nei racconti:<br />

sovrapposizione di cupidigia e generosità; ord<strong>in</strong>arie<br />

brutalità e bellezza? Quale l’uso di un Dio senza la conoscenza<br />

di cose come queste? Ma del resto tutti siamo un Work <strong>in</strong> Progress.<br />

Un Cristo crocefisso dovrebbe bastare per un pannello centrale;<br />

ma no, tu ne produci c<strong>in</strong>que, somm<strong>and</strong>o l’<strong>in</strong>sulto alla piaga, str<strong>at</strong>o<br />

sopra str<strong>at</strong>o, con sp<strong>in</strong>e supplementari, <strong>in</strong>cisioni, sangue.<br />

Di chi la mano che ha iscritto questo testo? <strong>De</strong>vi averlo tenuto<br />

<strong>in</strong> un cassetto di avanzi, <strong>in</strong>sieme a parole di resurrezione,<br />

per <strong>in</strong>collarle su una bocca prescelta. Quella <strong>in</strong> alto a destra.<br />

Quelle le hai d<strong>at</strong>e a lui, ebreo, da assemblare; e le fotografie<br />

di un prete. Cosa gli dicevi? E lui, cosa diceva lui?<br />

Undici pannelli: un bel numero primo. Quelli buffi li hai tenuti<br />

per te – predella e pilastro. L<strong>at</strong>t<strong>in</strong>e spian<strong>at</strong>e, ritagli<strong>at</strong>e<br />

per ad<strong>at</strong>tarsi alle cornici: quel motore gioc<strong>at</strong>tolo, un orologio (ma sotto<br />

-sopra), una tanica d’olio d’oliva, un aereo su Manh<strong>at</strong>tan; strane<br />

narrazioni, che sorreggono santi di questo e quello. E il falegname<br />

che hai scelto (niente croce da fare o portare), suo compito –<br />

un pl<strong>in</strong>to robusto, un p<strong>in</strong>nacolo di quarant<strong>at</strong>ré colori primari.<br />

Noi, fermi a distanza, assorbiamo la non ortodossia, una liturgia visiva.<br />

work <strong>in</strong> progress 23

from his form<strong>at</strong>ive years <strong>in</strong> his family’s confectionary shop just<br />

off Leith Walk, to the <strong>in</strong>ner sanctum of his long-established Chelsea<br />

studio, <strong>Paolozzi</strong> stood <strong>in</strong> the middle of a kaleidoscope of visual<br />

imagery. To h<strong>and</strong> was the full array of images necessary to build his<br />

art, from reproductions of classical sculpture <strong>and</strong> African totems<br />

to toy packag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> food conta<strong>in</strong>er designs. Those who know<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s art <strong>and</strong> method also know very well how he puts these<br />

elements all together. He is a child of modernist forms – collage,<br />

assemblage, bricolage.<br />

Work <strong>in</strong> Progress harks back to the artists of the classic avant-garde,<br />

the constructivists, Dadaists <strong>and</strong> surrealists whom <strong>Paolozzi</strong> first<br />

studied <strong>in</strong> books then directly encountered dur<strong>in</strong>g his first trip to<br />

Paris <strong>in</strong> 1948, a time when European culture was still emerg<strong>in</strong>g from<br />

the physical <strong>and</strong> mental ru<strong>in</strong><strong>at</strong>ions of war. Yet Work <strong>in</strong> Progress comes<br />

over a decade l<strong>at</strong>er, when the ghosts from those ru<strong>in</strong>s had been<br />

largely banished. Wh<strong>at</strong> we see are the glow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> vibr<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g fragments<br />

of high <strong>and</strong> low culture, speak<strong>in</strong>g to each other across their<br />

squared-off territories.<br />

This is a work <strong>by</strong> two artists. <strong>Paolozzi</strong> collabor<strong>at</strong>ed with Ronald<br />

Brooks Kitaj, who was only a year beyond gradu<strong>at</strong>ion from the Royal<br />

College of Art. Mak<strong>in</strong>g art jo<strong>in</strong>tly with other artists was rare, though<br />

he was well skilled <strong>in</strong> collabor<strong>at</strong><strong>in</strong>g with top-end pr<strong>in</strong>t <strong>and</strong> sculpture<br />

technicians, or with cur<strong>at</strong>ors or filmmakers. Given the stock-<strong>in</strong>-trade<br />

imagery <strong>in</strong> Work <strong>in</strong> Progress, from Christianity to kitsch, there is an<br />

authorial anonymity here. Without prior knowledge, could you tell<br />

the h<strong>and</strong> of which artist is on these fragments?<br />

By the time Work <strong>in</strong> Progress was made, <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s reput<strong>at</strong>ion as a<br />

sculptor was established. He was start<strong>in</strong>g to add pr<strong>in</strong>tmak<strong>in</strong>g to his<br />

repertoire, produc<strong>in</strong>g his first screen-pr<strong>in</strong>ted book, Metafisikal Transl<strong>at</strong>ions,<br />

<strong>in</strong> 1962. Here, words <strong>and</strong> images, new <strong>and</strong> recycled, flo<strong>at</strong> free<br />

from gramm<strong>at</strong>ical structure; a tactic of resurrection <strong>and</strong> renewal th<strong>at</strong><br />

was a hallmark of his method <strong>and</strong> th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g. In th<strong>at</strong> year he also<br />

produced a number of alum<strong>in</strong>ium sculptures such as Imperial War<br />

Museum <strong>and</strong> The Tw<strong>in</strong> Towers of the Sph<strong>in</strong>x – St<strong>at</strong>e II. The front-fac<strong>in</strong>g<br />

architectural arrangement of these sculptures mirror the altarpiece<br />

feel of Work <strong>in</strong> Progress.<br />

RB Kitaj was eight years younger than <strong>Paolozzi</strong> but was not lack<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> life experience after grow<strong>in</strong>g up <strong>in</strong> the usa dur<strong>in</strong>g the boom<strong>in</strong>g<br />

1950s (an upbr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Paolozzi</strong> probably envied). After study<strong>in</strong>g art <strong>in</strong><br />

New York, he travelled around the Americas as a merchant mar<strong>in</strong>e<br />

<strong>and</strong> soldier. Then, <strong>in</strong> 1958, came his move to Engl<strong>and</strong>, first to Oxford’s<br />

Rusk<strong>in</strong> School <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong> the follow<strong>in</strong>g year jo<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g the grow<strong>in</strong>g b<strong>and</strong> of<br />

pop artists centred on the Royal College of Art such as <strong>De</strong>rek Boshier,<br />

P<strong>at</strong>rick Caulfield, Allen Jones <strong>and</strong>, closest to him, David Hockney.<br />

24 paolozzi <strong>at</strong> large <strong>in</strong> ed<strong>in</strong>burgh

Hockney, more than <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, loved cross-fertilis<strong>at</strong>ions between text<br />

<strong>and</strong> imagery but they both shared an obsession with the chaotic <strong>and</strong><br />

overwhelm<strong>in</strong>g n<strong>at</strong>ure of contemporary experience. Mean<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>and</strong><br />

associ<strong>at</strong>ions bump <strong>in</strong>to each other <strong>in</strong> a deeply surrealist manner.<br />

Indeed, two of Kitaj’s pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>gs from 1961, just before he worked<br />

with <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, employ phrases directly lifted from André Breton’s<br />

First Surrealist Manifesto of 1924 as their titles: Certa<strong>in</strong> Forms of Associ<strong>at</strong>ion<br />

Neglected Before <strong>and</strong> The Dis<strong>in</strong>terested Play of Thought. Sc<strong>at</strong>ter<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

<strong>at</strong>tention of the viewer with the aim of <strong>in</strong>vit<strong>in</strong>g us to <strong>in</strong>tuit new<br />

p<strong>at</strong>terns of possible mean<strong>in</strong>g lies <strong>at</strong> the root of both artists’ <strong>in</strong>tention,<br />

<strong>and</strong> certa<strong>in</strong>ly shapes the form <strong>and</strong> content of Work <strong>in</strong> Progress.<br />

The breadth of Kitaj’s <strong>in</strong>terests, from 19th-century politics <strong>and</strong><br />

philosophy to the front covers of Time magaz<strong>in</strong>e, was commented<br />

upon <strong>by</strong> <strong>Paolozzi</strong> himself. No doubt reflect<strong>in</strong>g their recent collabor<strong>at</strong>ion,<br />

<strong>in</strong> an <strong>in</strong>terview with Richard Hamilton <strong>in</strong> 1964, he said:<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k the American bus<strong>in</strong>essman is just as important to him as<br />

19th-century illustr<strong>at</strong>ions of Jesus Christ.<br />

This leads us directly to the square shallow box of Work <strong>in</strong> Progress,<br />

which is organised symmetrically around a central panel with two<br />

sets of paired ‘w<strong>in</strong>dows’ (<strong>in</strong> twos <strong>and</strong> threes) around this centrepiece.<br />

The central panel is filled with five upright <strong>and</strong> two tilted reproductions<br />

of a crucified Christ head, sculpted <strong>in</strong> wood with additional<br />

torn, collaged <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>k-pa<strong>in</strong>ted elements. Across one area is pasted a<br />

fa<strong>in</strong>t h<strong>and</strong>-written transcription of a story, ‘The Road to Broody’ <strong>by</strong><br />

Isaac Babel (perhaps Work <strong>in</strong> Progress is imag<strong>in</strong>ed as a Tower of Babel).<br />

Equally fa<strong>in</strong>tly written across one of the Christ heads are the words,<br />

‘I <strong>in</strong>deed am go<strong>in</strong>g, but thou shalt tarry till I come’ – a phrase l<strong>in</strong>ked<br />

to Jesus’ audience with Pontius Pil<strong>at</strong>e, as set out <strong>in</strong> The W<strong>and</strong>er<strong>in</strong>g Jew.<br />

Here we must imag<strong>in</strong>e Kitaj assert<strong>in</strong>g his own ancestry <strong>in</strong>to the visual<br />

narr<strong>at</strong>ives of the piece.<br />

In the smaller portrait <strong>and</strong> l<strong>and</strong>scape w<strong>in</strong>dows, is another<br />

photo montage of a se<strong>at</strong>ed man from different viewpo<strong>in</strong>ts, parts of<br />

an Italian olive oil can (with its various quality awards still visible)<br />

nailed fl<strong>at</strong> to the work’s surface, a montage of the New York skyl<strong>in</strong>e<br />

below an American Airl<strong>in</strong>es plane, an upturned <strong>and</strong> h<strong>and</strong>less clock<br />

face, <strong>and</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ally, various configur<strong>at</strong>ions of abstract <strong>and</strong> decor<strong>at</strong>ive<br />

robotic toy components. This almost folk-art assemblage is conta<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

<strong>in</strong> a frame made <strong>by</strong> a carpenter to <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s <strong>in</strong>structions.<br />

The museum records tell us th<strong>at</strong> the areas cre<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>by</strong> Kitaj are the<br />

large central panel <strong>and</strong> the small portrait arrangement <strong>in</strong> the top<br />

right, us<strong>in</strong>g visual m<strong>at</strong>erial supplied <strong>by</strong> <strong>Paolozzi</strong>. Yet Kitaj seemed to<br />

have taken ownership of the work promptly as it was <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>at</strong> his<br />

first one-man exhibition <strong>at</strong> Marlborough F<strong>in</strong>e Art, London <strong>in</strong> 1963,<br />

work <strong>in</strong> progress 25

<strong>and</strong> was sold for £1,000 to the collector of surrealism, Gabrielle<br />

Keiller. (L<strong>at</strong>er, this work was part of a major art don<strong>at</strong>ion from Keiller<br />

to the N<strong>at</strong>ional Galleries of Scotl<strong>and</strong>.) <strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>and</strong> Kitaj collabor<strong>at</strong>ed<br />

on another subsequently destroyed work, which presumably also<br />

fe<strong>at</strong>ured <strong>in</strong> Kitaj’s exhibition.<br />

Work <strong>in</strong> Progress is a classic piece of surrealist-<strong>in</strong>spired Pop Art.<br />

As renowned critic Lucy Lippard wrote:<br />

The study of pop culture, grow<strong>in</strong>g out of <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s spontaneous<br />

enjoyment of it, is to aid <strong>in</strong> the fabric<strong>at</strong>ion of ‘idols or gods’. Thus, a<br />

traditional role of the sculptor, the forg<strong>in</strong>g of div<strong>in</strong>e or heroic figures,<br />

is not ab<strong>and</strong>oned; r<strong>at</strong>her the base of references has been widened.<br />

Kitaj, like <strong>Paolozzi</strong>, has a comparable sense of popular culture… 1<br />

In this multi-evoc<strong>at</strong>ive artwork, the pair offer no one clear message<br />

bene<strong>at</strong>h the surface. No r<strong>at</strong>ional read<strong>in</strong>g is possible, or desired.<br />

Work <strong>in</strong> Progress anticip<strong>at</strong>es <strong>Paolozzi</strong>’s gre<strong>at</strong> screen-pr<strong>in</strong>t period,<br />

replete with boxes jam-packed with iconic imagery, such as Jesus<br />

Colour <strong>by</strong> Numbers <strong>and</strong> An Empire of Silly St<strong>at</strong>istics… A Fake War for Public<br />

Rel<strong>at</strong>ions, both part of the General Dynamic F.U.N. series (1965–70).<br />

<strong>Paolozzi</strong> <strong>and</strong> Kitaj share a love of multiple <strong>in</strong>terpret<strong>at</strong>ions, disloc<strong>at</strong>ions<br />

<strong>and</strong> tell<strong>in</strong>g juxtapositions <strong>in</strong> arrays of the unexpected. Yet the<br />

l<strong>at</strong>ter’s <strong>in</strong>terest is generally acknowledged to be more literary <strong>and</strong><br />

from an art historical perspective. The art historian A<strong>by</strong> Warburg was<br />

gre<strong>at</strong>ly admired <strong>by</strong> Kitaj; the artist describ<strong>in</strong>g the writer as:<br />

like a Surrealist: he tried to br<strong>in</strong>g odd th<strong>in</strong>gs together like Breton did:<br />

‘Magic <strong>and</strong> logic flower<strong>in</strong>g on the same tree.’ 2<br />

In this work, we might say, magic <strong>and</strong> logic flower on the same altar.<br />

Andrew P<strong>at</strong>rizio<br />

1 Lucy Lippard, Pop Art, 2014 London:<br />

Thames & Hudson (p.60).<br />

2 RB Kitaj, <strong>in</strong> Marco Liv<strong>in</strong>gstone, ‘Iconology<br />

as Theme <strong>in</strong> the Early Work of RB Kitaj’,<br />

The Burl<strong>in</strong>gton Magaz<strong>in</strong>e 122:928 Jul.<br />

1980 (p.488).<br />

26 paolozzi <strong>at</strong> large <strong>in</strong> ed<strong>in</strong>burgh

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