Raven Row, London
4 September–1 November 2009
by MICHAEL SPENS
This Ambit focus for the exhibition also contains sculptures, bronzes, graphics and extremely rare ‘scrapbooks’ which were an obsession of the artist, engendering such works as General Dynamic F.U.N. and Moonstrips, each an Aladdin’s cave of such imagery. There are also examples of the metal toys, which Paolozzi accumulated (and this rather earlier than did Warhol) on trips to the US and Japan. But they shared the same obsession. The book/catalogue contains images from Ambit’s celebratory Tenth Anniversary Issue, plus pages headed beguilingly (but non sequitur) ‘from a novel by Eduardo Paolozzi’. The replicated cover of Ambit No 50 shows J.G.Ballard, Paolozzi and friends admiring a net-shrouded female model. There are also film scripts by Paolozzi – and so the compendium continues. Four Corners Books (Elinor Jansen) are to be congratulated on this timely souvenir of a tempestuous but highly productive period in Paolozzi’s career.
The exhibition takes the wraps off a key formative period in Paolozzi’s work, since after the Tate Retrospective a number of commissions for reliefs within buildings, or doors for buildings, and indeed ceiling and tapestry panels (as for Cleish Castle in Scotland) ensued, which set Paolozzi on a productive course for the next two decades. But inexplicably, the Tate Gallery never came to commission a work. There is a major collection of the work of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi at the National Gallery of Modern Art/Dean Gallery, Edinburgh, together with the Cleish Ceiling Panels installed.
The Compendium can be obtained from Four Corners Books
UK £12.95/USA $19.95