Tate Gallery Exhibition Catalogue of Eduardo Paolozzi’s work from 22nd September to 31st October 1971. This catalogue also includes the die-cut boot insert.
Eduardo Paolozzi was born in the Edinburgh port of Leith, the son of Italian immigrants who ran an ice-cream parlour. The dichotomy in this background, of gritty harbourside industry and the cheerful populism of confectionary, could in retrospect be seen as prophetic of an artist who would bounce between a spikily abrasive Surrealism and an exuberantly democratic sensibility. A core quality established from the earliest work in this major retrospective is Paolozzi’s willingness to embrace ugliness and discordance; it would remain a keynote throughout a varied and extremely productive career. Whether it is through his ungainly humanoids made up of a fusion of industrial clutter, fabric patterns suggestive of scruffy art brut daubing, gaudy screenprints with clashing trippy patterns, or revoltingly sinuous chrome-plated sculptures, Paolozzi emerges as an artist who rejected the genteel or the pretty. The result is a modernism as far removed from the elegant smoothness of Henry Moore as it is possible to imagine.