02 Nov, 2009

Eduardo Paolozzi: The Jet Age Compendium

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

Ambit issue 40, 1969

On until Sunday at the Raven Row gallery in east London is a marvellous show dedicated to the work of the late Eduardo Paolozzi…

Paolozzi, who died in 2005 aged 81, is well known as being behind some of the earliest examples of Pop Art to come out of the UK. His 1947 work, I Was a Rich Man’s Plaything, which was first shown in 1952, was a collaged piece that, notably, featured the word “pop” in the work itself.

Moonstrips Empire News: Secrets Of Internal Combustion Engine, 1967. Screenprint on paper. © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation

But Paolozzi also worked extensively on pieces for the art and literature magazine, Ambit, and much of the work on show at Raven Row is made up his output for the title.

Brought in by the magazine’s then prose editor JG Ballard in 1967, Paolozzi used the pages of Ambit to create striking collages and visual essays, pieces that often showed a more political side to his creative work. His work in Ambit tackled subjects such as the Vietnam war and the rise of mass advertising.

Why We Are In Vietnam, Ambit 40, 1969

Things, Ambit 41, 1969

It’s well worth a visit before the show closes – as gallery spaces go, Raven Row is a particular CR favourite – and in addition to the examples from Ambit, the exhibition has several of Paolozzi’s bronze works, prints and scrapbooks, and even some space age toys that he collected.

Four Corners Books, who are also based in the same building as Raven Row, recently published a facsimile edition of Paolozzi’s Ambit works, The Jet Age Compendium: Paolozzi At Ambit.

Raven Row
56 Artillery Lane
London E1 7LS

Exhibition views, Eduardo Paolozzi: The Jet Age Compendium, Raven Row, 2009. Photographs by Marcus J. Leith



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