Curator Ann Jones on Eduardo Paolozzi, whose work features in current Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition, The Printed Line.
Eduardo Paolozzi (1924 - 2005) began working with printmaking in the early 1950s and his comment that a good reproduction is better than a poor original underlines the importance he gave to the medium.
In 1962 Paolozzi began to collaborate with Chris Prater at Kelpra Studios and during the 1960s he pushed printmaking to its extremes, breaking new ground by adapting commercial screenprinting techniques to suit his own needs and experimenting with different colour combinations in each edition.
His series of screenprints from the mid-1960s, such as Universal Electronic Vacuum: Horizon of Expectation (pictured), are among the most innovative graphic art of the decade.
Drawing on various aspects of modern mass society as well as Paolozzi's own collection of ephemera, they bring together imagery as diverse as Mickey Mouse, Wittgenstein, aeronautics and contemporary politics, interspersed with intricate blocks of patterns and texts, all in brilliant combinations of colours, which look just as vivid and relevant today.
Paolozzi developed many of his ideas through his screenprints, fashioning a collage of diverse references into a unified whole. In this, as in his different forms of sculpture and writings, he constantly reinvented himself, while maintaining a distinctive sense of continuity. Few other artists have explored such a wide range of ways of interpreting the modern world over the course of a career spanning more than 50 years.
Universal Electronic Vacuum: Horizon of Expectation, 1967 can be seen as part of Arts Council Collections latest Touring Exhibition, The Printed Line.