A Tribute To: 

Eduardo Paolozzi

This season, we are proud to present our SS22 collection as our tribute to Scottish Artist Eduardo Paolozzi and his innovative and irreverent pursuit of his creative vision.

We always feel it’s important to explain why it is that we personally connect with an artist or artistic creation. Eduardo Paolozzi has been an important source of inspiration for SS22. A Scottish sculptor and artist widely considered to be one the God Father of Pop Art, his collages, sculptures and prints challenged artistic convention from the 1950s onwards. Fascinated by modern machines and technology, Paolozzi’s most well-known work includes the original Pop-Art collage – I was a rich man’s Play Thing” in 1947, Surrealist bronze sculpture Cyclops in 1952 and extensive mosaics for Tottenham Court Road in 1979. Paolozzi is everywhere if you know where to look for him.

He was born in Leith 1924, grew up an Italian immigrant and a child of ice-cream parlour owners. As a child, he collected cigarette cards that depicted pictures of American film stars and military vehicles and became intrigued in American culture, which would later be a basis from some of his collage work. His father was a fascist and as Italy joined in the war in 1940, he was considered an enemy and imprisoned. He was sent to Canada by ship with other male members of Eduardo’s family and the ship sunk, drowning them. Eduardo was also sent to prison for three months in Edinburgh for similar reasons.

Paolozzi had always shown a talent for drawing and pursued this by attending Edinburgh College of Art in 1943. He then moved to London and feigned madness to secure his release from army duties in order that he could study sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Paolozzi is widely considered to be one of the first Pop artists and created many collages including the famous ‘I was a rich man’s plaything’ in 1947, which was the first artwork to feature the word ‘Pop’ in it.

Not only was he a sculptor, graphic artist, potter, filmmaker and writer, Paolozzi also taught printed textile design. He taught graphic artist, Althea McNish on one of his evening courses at the Central School of Art and Design, where he persuaded her to pursue a career in textiles. She has since gone on to become an internationally famous textile designer. 

Paolozzi began producing silk-screen prints in the 1950s. He pioneered the technique in which each print can have a separate colourway, predating Warhol’s famous prints of the same nature by four years.In 1952-4 Paolozzi co-founded ‘The Independent Group’ in London, who paved the way for English Pop Art. He was also one of the few British artists to become internationally recognised immediately after the war. Founded by Paolozzi and artists including photographer Nigel Henderson and sculptor Richard Hamilton, the Group championed the use of found objects and popular culture in art. In 1956 they staged This is Tomorrow, a groundbreaking exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in which they transformed the space into a series of immersive installations. 

Paolozzi worked prolifically throughout the 1960s, holding several teaching positions, experimenting with sculpture and continuing to develop his screenprinting. One of his most notable works from this time is As Is When, a series of prints inspired by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. He was appointed a CBE in 1968 and elected a Royal Academician in 1979. 

In 1986 Paolozzi completed one of his best-known commissions: the vibrant mosaics at Tottenham Court Road underground station. Years after his death, fears that the mosaics were to be permanently removed sparked a public petition demanding the decision be reversed. In 1995 Paolozzi completed Newton after Blake, a colossal statue that sits in the forecourt of the British Library. Depicting Sir Isaac Newton hunched over drawing diagrams with a compass, the bronze brings to three-dimensional life a 1795 monotype by Sir William Blake.

Paolozzi was knighted in 1989 and by the end of his life was one of the country’s best-known artists. He died in April 2005 and left a major bequest to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. His works are now presented in a designated Paolozzi Studio in Modern Two, recreating the chaos of Paolozzi’s own workspaces.

FOR SS22, We’ve narrowed in on Paolozzi’s print work from the 1970s with pastel colours, repeat patterns and geometric shapes.

CUSTOM PRINT

THE CRAMMOND SHIRT

The Crammond Shirt is our popular, relaxed fit, slightly oversized short sleeved shirt constructed from a custom printed 100% Cotton. The custom print commissioned by Kestin is inspired by the shapes and colours within Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi's 1975 piece, Appel-Calder.

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CUSTOM QUILTING

THE LONGSTONE VEST

The Longstone is an insulated vest in a premium micro ripstop with a unique geometric quilting pattern inspired by the 1970s screenprint works of Eduardo Paolozzi. This style has two zip entry pockets with mountaineering shock-cord pulls, bound edges and a 120gram recycled fill. We have worked closely with a highly sophisticated Chinese factory to produce this innovative design on a technical Korean cloth. This is a truly special cloth, completely unique to our brand and something we are so pleased we pushed through the tricky development stages to deliver a standout product.