Eduardo Paolozzi was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of pop art. He was a collector of all manner of objects, which others might have viewed as ‘waste’, going on to incorporate them into his creations, which have been described as a homage to modern machines and technology. His studio where the majority of his artworks were developed was donated to the National Galleries of Scotland and is on permanent display in Modern Two. Installed in 1999 it provides an insight into the man and his inspiration.
Forms on a Bow II was created in 1949 whilst Paolozzi was living in Paris. During this time he was influenced by the early surrealist sculptures made by Paris-based Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
Paolozzi always described his work as surrealist art and, while working in a wide range of media throughout his career, became more closely associated with sculpture which he believed should be inspired by popular and ethnic culture and by science.
In Forms on a Bow II ‘Paolozzi has explored Giacometti’s use of open or transparent structures, and of forms that evoke memories of organic and mechanical objects. The sharp protrusions of some of the elements strung between the two ends of the ‘bow’ suggest an interest in brutal instincts’. (Text taken from Tate website which describes the original Forms on a Bow which is very similar to this. Paolozzi made a preparatory sketch for the work, which is also in the collection of the Tate Gallery).
Forms on a Bow is on permanent display in Gallery One where it is passed by staff, students and visitors every day. This is very fitting for the work of an artist who felt that artworks should be democratic and who liked the idea of people passing his art every day on their way to work. He said that ‘”people should be able to tramp through a creation”.
Much of his artwork is in public places and this google map details the locations of 10 works of Paolozzi’s public art in the UK. Below is a short film detailing Paolozzi’s public art in London.