London, South Kensington
15 December 2011
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, R.A. (1924-2005)
Putting on the Clay
signed 'E Paolozzi' (lower left) and dated '1947' (lower right)
7¾ x 5½ in. (19.7 x 14 cm.)
Gifted by the artist to the present owner.
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W. Konnertz, Eduardo Paolozzi, Cologne, 1984, pl. 50, illustrated. Exhibition catalogue, Eduardo Paolozzi: Recurring Themes, Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, 1984, p. 96, pl. C2.6, illustrated.
In 1946, as he began his final year at the Slade School of Art, London, Paolozzi discovered a bookshop that was selling batches of war damaged books. Using a page directly from one of these books he would cross-pollinate images from a damaged encyclopedia, engine manual or book on modelling in sculpture to create these beautiful collages. The page used for the present lot is taken from an illustration in Modelling and Sculpture by Albert Toft, first published in 1924. These important and very rare early collages were precursors to his Bunk series, which is often regarded as the birth of Pop Art, and was begun in the same year as this work when he moved to Paris after graduating.
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