Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, R.A. (1924-2005)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, R.A. (1924-2005)

Improved Beans

Details
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, R.A. (1924-2005)
Improved Beans
signed 'EDUARDO PAOLOZZI' (upper centre)
collage, unframed
9 5/8 x 14 ¼ in. (24.4 x 36.2 cm.)
Executed in 1949.
Provenance
A gift from the artist to the present owner.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Eduardo Paolozzi, London, Tate Gallery, 1971, p. 53, illustrated.
Exhibited
London, Institute of Contemporary Arts, April 1952, no. 11, part of BUNK! lecture.
London, Tate Gallery, Eduardo Paolozzi, September - October 1971, not numbered.
London, Anthony d'Offay, Eduardo Paolozzi, Collages and Drawings, March - April 1977, no. 13.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay

'History is more or less bunk ... We want to live in the present'
(Henry Ford)

'I met some Americans in Paris who were quite influential and they gave me piles of magazines which I used for a collage in a timid way, because when I did these early collages, nobody quite thought they were art at the time' (Eduardo Paolozzi, exhibition catalogue, When Britain went Pop: The Early Years, Christie's Mayfair, October - November 2013, p. 38).

Out of these 'piles of magazines' came the glossy adverts, analytical diagrams, comic book and science fiction characters that were to form the torn sheets and collages that Paolozzi used in his seminal lecture, BUNK! Performed to fellow members of the Independent Group at the ICA in April 1952, the lecture's central themes and imagery were undoubtedly an important precursor to Pop Art, if not in fact seminal Pop Art works themselves. Indeed the collage I was a Rich Man's Plaything (no. 25 in the BUNK! Suite), which uses the word 'Pop!' within the collage, is the earliest known work to incorporate this now eponymous onomatopoeia.

The original collages used in the 1952 Bunk! lecture remained in scrapbooks, with the artist, until Paolozzi's retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 1971. The present lots were exhibited in the exhibition as original BUNK! pieces and were subsequently reproduced as editioned prints in the BUNK! Suite, 1972.

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