Eduardo Paolozzi, 1924-2005
The Metalization of a Dream
Original screenprint in colours. 1962. Signed and dated in pencil. Each impression in the edition was printed using a differing combination of colours and is thus a unique image. Total issue of 40 impressions. Conceived and executed at the studio of Chris Prater, Kelpra Studio, London 1963.
Reference: Paolozzi Foundation P 781.
Scottish National Gallery Print collection GMA 4046.
Provenance: British Private Collection.
Extremely fine impression with fresh strong colours. On lightweight smooth wove paper. Small margins. Exceptionally fine condition for a work of this type. The very faintest trace of time toning in the foot margin only. Sheet: 550 x 535mm. Image: 505 x 480mm.
‘The Metalization of a Dream’ is one of the most important compositions of Paolozzi’s art in the early 1960’s. Impressions, each unique in the combination of the colours, are exceptionally rare.
Edouardo Paolozzi was a leading and ground-breaking artist in the British Surrealist movement in the period at the beginning of the 1950’s. Born in Scotland at Leith outside Edinburgh to Italian parents he began to study art at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1943, then moved to St. Martin’s in London and on to The Slade. In 1947 he went to Paris living there until 1949. It was a key period in the development of his ideas; he met Giacometti, Arp and Brancusi and their links to the post-war ‘Surrealist’ circle were deeply formative. Paolozzi became fascinated by ‘found objects’, as were his Parisian friends. Abandoned mechanical parts, wood and metal rubbish, as well as natural objects became the source of dreamlike structures both in three-dimensional ‘sculptures’ and in two-dimensional images. During the early 1950’s in London he became one of the founders of the ‘Independent Group’, a small but influential circle of artists who wanted to promote a focus on surreal and non-figurative themes for art. Paolozzi’s images were partially formed by collaging cuttings from random magazines as well as his ‘objects’. He also used the same techniques for images in the seminal book with the same title as this screenprint which he co-wrote with the author John Munday and printed at the Royal College of Art.
The leading screen-printer of the 1960’s, Chris Prater at Kelpra Studios in London, showed Paolozzi how to use collaged imagery in prints. ‘The Metalization of a Dream’, here, was one of his first and most important print works and it is an outstanding example of the inspiration of his greatest expressions of British Surrealism in the early 1960’s, and it also shows why he is often referred to as the ‘Father of Pop’ in British art.
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