"The Father of Pop Art" Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi was born in Leith, Edinburgh in 1924, the eldest son of Italian parents.
In his early twenties Paolozzi studied widely, initially at the Edinburgh School of Art then Saint Martin's School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art.
In 1947, aged 23, Paolozzi produced the seminal collage 'I was a Rich Man's Plaything', an astonishing work, widely regarded as the earliest example of Pop Art. His first one man show opened at the Mayor Gallery, London in 1947 and with the seventy five pounds earned from sales during the show Paolozzi travelled to Paris, where he would stay for two years.
In Paris, Paolozzi's rough and ready aesthetic chimed perfectly with 'l'art brut' of Dubuffet and here he became acquainted with a group of artists who would become a huge influence on his already burgeoning career. Paolozzi visited the studios of Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque and Fernand Leger and his own work would later be included in Michel Tapies Un Art Autre in 1952.
The same year Paolozzi co-founded The Independent Group, who are widely regarded as the precursors to the Pop Art movement. The group's first meeting consisted of Paolozzi feeding a mass of colourful images from American magazines through an epidiascope. The images, composed of advertising, comic strips and assorted graphics, were collected when Paolozzi was resident in Paris and the themes prevalent in the presentation went on to inform and inspire the future Pop artists of the late 1950s and 1960s.
Paolozzi's work is held in major international collections, his Krazy Kat Archives are on permanent display at the V & A, his sculpture the Head Of Invention at the entrance to the Design Museum, London and the bronze sculpture Newton, after William Blake at the British Library.
The artist died in London in April 2005.
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