Paolozzi is best known here for his Tottenham Court Road mosaics and sculptures across London. But this Whitechapel Gallery exhibition shows the full breadth of his work covering sculpture, prints and collage.
It’s this versatility that truly marks out Paolozzi’s creativity. In this exhibition, you look at a bronze sculpture next to a brightly coloured print and think they couldn’t possibly be by the same artist. There is so much variety on display it could easily be the work of three different artists — this diversity is why Paolozzi can be heralded as a modern great.
There is, though, one giveaway that these works are by the same artist — the abstract patterns appearing in vivid reds and blues on paper, and projecting along the surface of his dark bronzes.
A significant measure of Paolozzi’s legacy is his influence and how it can be felt across multiple mediums. A dress features his designs and a jazz album inspired by him plays in the upstairs gallery. It’s proof that his work went way beyond the fine art world.
There are over 250 works in this show and a special section dedicated to collages Paolozzi created using popular culture imagery — these works are what earned him the nickname the ‘Godfather of Pop Art’.
Most of us are guilty of only considering Paolozzi’s art as his collection of works on public display. This exhibition shows he was so much more.
Eduardo Paolozzi is on at Whitechapel Gallery until 14 May. Tickets are £13.50 for adults, concessions available.
Last Updated 16 February 2017