Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi, KBE, FRA, lived from 7 March 1924 to 22 April 2005. He was an artist and sculptor. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Eduardo Paolozzi was born in Leith, the oldest son of Italian immigrants. In June 1940 he was interned in Saughton Prison for three months when Italy declared war on Britain. His father, uncle and grandfather were among 630 Italian and German internees killed when the ship carrying them to Canada, the Arandora Star, was sunk by the German U-Boat, U-47, on 2 July 1940.
Eduardo Paolozzi studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1943, and at the St Martin's School of Art and Slade School of Art in London from 1944 to 1947. He then moved to Paris, where he was influenced by the work of Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger. After returning to London, Paolozzi moved into a studio in Chelsea and by the 1950s was establishing himself as a surrealist artist through a series of screenprints. His most important work of the period was a collage produced in 1947 entitled I was a Rich Man's Plaything which paved the way for the later Pop Art movements in the UK and the USA: the collage even included a bubble containing the word "Pop!" In 1952 he became a founder of the "Independent Group" of painters, sculptors, architects, writers and critics, whose aim was to provide an alternative to the prevailing Modernist style.
Later on, Paolozzi became best known as a sculptor. He specialised in largely lifelike statues, but with rectilinear (often cubic) elements added or removed, or the human form deconstructed in a cubist style. An example is Master of the Universe, on display outside the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh. In 1968 Paolozzi taught sculpture and ceramics at the University of California, Berkeley. He worked in Berlin from 1974, and was Professor at the Fachhochschule in Cologne from 1977 to 1981. He also later taught at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich.
In 1979 Eduardo Paolozzi was elected to the Royal Academy. He was appointed "Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland" in 1986, and in 1989 he received a knighthood. In 1994 Paolozzi gave the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art many of his works, and most of the content of his studio. These were later displayed in Edinburgh's Dean Gallery. Eduardo Paolozzi suffered a serious stroke in 2001 and he died in a hospital in London in April 2005.