On Dover Street, “This is Today” Looks Back at Last Century’s Visions of Tomorrow
The full set of eight etchings from the Cloud Atomic Laboratory suite, framed.
In this series, Paolozzi uses images of the technological advances that saturated the media in the 60’s and early 70’s. He contrasts these images with those of children’s television characters, blurring the boundaries between high art and pop culture through the use of photo-etching, a printing technique commonly used in newspapers. Although the images seem jovial at first glance, the first Chimpanzees sent into space are depicted alongside the electric shock technology employed to control their behaviour. Paolozzi is, perhaps, challenging the innocent representation of technological progress portrayed in the press.
Eduardo Paolozzi - Cloud Atomic Laboratory
'This set of sixteen images in tandem are accurate translations of paintings based on photographs spanning a period of time from 1952 up to the present. The collecting of material from magazines, books and newspapers has been a continual search for meaning starting from early school days. In some cases illustrations from books have formed the bases of certain sculptures. Four images in this portfolio have reasonable historic value being originally presented with a diverse amount of images at the ICA in 1952. The radical nature of this lecture has never been properly assessed but is nevertheless homogenous with the current paintings and sculptures.
A difficulty in assessing aesthetic value in these works is emphasised by the monolithic concepts concerning all the GREAT MECHNICAL ARTS. The schism that separates Space Age Engineering, technical photography, film making and types of street-art from fine art activities is for many people/artists unbridgeable. Within the grand system of paradoxes, the theme of this portfolio is the Human Predicament. Content enlarged by precision. History shaded into the grey scale as in the television tube.'
Eduardo Paolozzi, London, 1971.
Fascinated by modern machines and technology, Eduardo Paolozzi produced graphic art, collages, pottery, films, mosaics, and sculptures inspired by industrial engineering. His early bronze sculptures of anguished human figures incorporated impressions made by machines as well as found objects, synthesizing them to evoke new associations. This later developed into a new process of piecing together works from prefabricated aluminum and brass casting molds; the resulting geometric human forms have often been described as “totems for the technological age.” Crucially, Paolozzi came to embrace technology rather than perceiving it as a demon to be feared, and wrote and lectured extensively on how popular culture and science should inform sculpture. He is often cited as an important exponent of Surrealism in Great Britain, as well as an influence on Pop Art.
Scottish, 1924-2005, Leith, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom