Eduardo Paolozzi is quite rightly considered to be one of Scotland's greatest artists as he was born and bred there, to Italian parents who ran an ice cream shop. However , after studies at Edinburgh Collage of Art he moved to the Slade school of art where he met two key people who changed the course of the art world for ever. It was his friendship with William Turnbull and particularly Nigel Henderson that led to the formation of the Independent Group who shared a modernist vision and embraced mass culture.
Paolozzi studied around the globe but when he came to settle down where did he choose? Yes, Essex of course.
In 1954 he moved there with his wife Freda and travelled to London to teach and work. They lived in a row of cottages at Landermere Quay which is a tiny smugglers haven on the coast of Essex near the village of Thorpe-le-Soken in the Essex marshes. The Hendersons bought the smugglers pub the Kings Head and the cottages called Gull cottages and the rest is history as between them Henderson and Paolozzi formed Hammer Prints and ran the venture from the pub . Sounds like a great plan to me......... See image of the building today.
So there we have it another bit of easily overlooked art history which makes Eduardo Paolozzi one of Essex's greatest artists!
Another interesting art fact is that living in the same cottages at the same time was Basil Spence later to be knighted as he was the architect who built Coventry Cathedral and the etched windows were designed and made by John Hutton another great artist who lived- Yes, you guessed it- in the same line of cottages. Small world isn't it!
It always seems strange to me that the most modern art of the popular culture was actually rooted in the remote Essex countryside but that was just out of necessity as the property prices made the area affordable and is the reason why such greats as John Armstrong, Bawden, The Two Roberts and countless other great artists settled in Essex particularly in the post war period.
So forget your preconceived ideas of Essex and embrace its wonderful Art heritage as it gave us Eduardo Paolozzi !
We here at Blondes Fine Art, located on the borders of Essex and Hertfordshire, currently have a number of works by Eduardo Paolozzi for sale and have just acquired a lovely collection of plaster maquette's from the studio of the Artist. Keep an eye on the website as they will be added soon.
Mark & Mel