Born in Leith, Scotland, to Italian parents in 1924, Eduardo Paolozzi was a sculptor and printmaker who is widley considered to be one of the pioneers of Pop Art. After studying in Edinburgh and London, Paolozzi moved to Paris in 1947, where he produced enigmatic bronze sculptures reminiscent of those by Alberto Giacometti. During the same period, he made a series of Dada and Surrealist-inspired collages in which magazine advertisements, cartoons and machine parts are combined, thus anticipating the concerns of Pop Art.
Paolozzi did not display any of his work until 1952, when he presented it with over 40 collages at the inaugural meeting of what became known as the Independent Group. Founded by Paolozzi and other artists, the Group championed the use of found objects and popular culture in art. in 1956, they staged 'This is Tomorrow', a groundbreaking exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in which they transformed the space into a series of immersive installations.
Paolozzi worked prolifically throughout the 1960's, holding several teaching positions while experimenting with sculpture and continuing to develop his screenprinting.
Paolozzi's large-scale public commissions transformed spaces such including the British Library courtyard and the London Underground. He was appointed CBE in 1968, elected a Royal Academician in 1979 and knighted in 1989.