BUNK and FUN: Eduardo Paolozzi’s graphic works at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Described by his friend JG Ballard as “a guidebook to the electric garden of our minds”, Eduardo Paolozzi used his collection of images of American pop culture to create stunning prints, many of which are on show in a new exhibition

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Upper Space gallery will show graphic works taken from Paolozzi’s series BUNK, Zero Energy Experimental Pile, Moonstrip Empire News and General Dynamic F.U.N..

Throughout his life Paolozzi documented his fascination with US popular culture in scrapbooks, with images cut out and collaged largely from American comics and publications, many of high feature ads, films, toys and packaging. These images were then used to make the series of prints.

Eduardo Paolozzi, Secrets of the Internal Combustion Engine from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Secrets of the Internal Combustion Engine from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, The Silken World of Michelangelo from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, The Silken World of Michelangelo from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation

The series of prints use glamorous images of models, domestic appliances and cars, for example, to explore ‘man’s skewed relationship with technology, production, consumption and waste’ the gallery says.

General Dynamic F.U.N.draws on images from Hollywood and advertising to critique mass culture, capitalism and our daily interactions with visual media.

Eduardo Paolozzi, Formica-Formikel from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Formica-Formikel from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, King Kong King Kong from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, King Kong King Kong from Moonstrips Empire News, 1967. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Inside Down Under…What are the Building Blocks of Structuralism from General Dynamic F.U.N., 1965–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Inside Down Under…What are the Building Blocks of Structuralism from General Dynamic F.U.N., 1965–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation

While, what the gallery terms ‘he boldest of Paolozzi’s series’, Zero Energy Experimental Pile (1969–70) consists of six hallucinogenic screenprints including images of pin-up girls, robots, airplanes, rockets and astronauts. The series was created at the height of the Cold War and takes its name from a nuclear reactor in Ontario.

Eduardo Paolozzi, Human Fate and World Powers from Zero Energy Experimental Pile, 1969–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Human Fate and World Powers from Zero Energy Experimental Pile, 1969–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Hollywood Wax Museum from Zero Energy Experimental Pile, 1969–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Hollywood Wax Museum from Zero Energy Experimental Pile, 1969–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Standard Pacific Time from Zero Energy Experimental Pile, 1969–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation
Eduardo Paolozzi, Standard Pacific Time from Zero Energy Experimental Pile, 1969–70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation

Eduardo Paolozzi is at the Upper Space, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, from March 12 to June 16, 2016. Details here

Lead image: Eduardo Paolozzi, Decency and Decorum in Production from General Dynamic F.U.N., 1965-70. Courtesy YSP © The Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation 

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