Thursday, 3 January 2019


After several contacts (thanks) I'll be progressively repeating the posts of the period 2013-18.  I hope they'll be of interest once again. 

Friday, 31 August 2018


With no new significant content for presentation, I'm now winding down this blog and removing the posts progressively.

If you do have any particular interest in any aspect of Paolozzi's graphic work, I'd be happy to hear from you - I'm at

Sunday, 30 November 2014


The final look at Moonstrips here is at the pattern-rich picture prints, six of them below:

It would be difficult to overrate the value of pattern in artistic practice.  It enables the creation of visual harmonies, symmetry and rhythms.  These can be highly instrumental in manipulating the viewer’s mood, (usually towards calmness), as well as their visual experience.  And, where a pattern is interrupted/disturbed, a sense of unease can be evoked.

Pattern helps establish order and solidity – in traditional painting think for example of how Vermeer’s tiled floors underpin the 3D effect of his interiors.  In modern art, where there is no concern with perspective, pattern has often been used to ground and integrate disparate imagery within a single painting/print – this is a technique of Paolozzi’s.  His chequers and squares and stripes slosh about on a print like the stock of a soup in which the diverse chunks of pictures/words can be seen and appreciated as part of something which overall is more appealing than the individual ingredients. 

Whilst the use of pattern for integrating purposes is so notable in prints such as A formula that can shatter into a million glass bullets in the Universal Electronic Vacuum suite:

that portfolio also included continuous pattern images such as Memory Matrix, (below), similar to those seen in Moonstrips.

Paolozzi collected patterns as raw materials for his collages – as he did all sorts of images/objects – from a vast range of sources:  food boxes, sweet wrappers, crochet patterns, engineering drawings, etc.  It is pleasing to see that these often mundane visual devices live on beyond their original context in some of the very best artworks of the mid-Twentieth Century.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Monkey Business

Monkeys and apes figured across the years in Paolozzi’s ‘image vocabulary’, for example: a chimp in The Dynamics of Biology, (Bunk!), 1952; another in uniform in Gina Lollobrigida, (General Dynamic F.U.N.), 1970; a pair in Pop Art Redefined, 1971. 

Among the unsigned picture prints of Moonstrips one of the most striking is ea 782 King Kong King Kongking Kong:

Here is Paolozzi’s expertise in deriving and combining patterns deployed to great effect.  As for this specific ape, I can’t help but wonder if there’s an echo here of ‘Tortured Life’ from As Is When – the poor old misunderstood creature; persecuted and apparently unpleasant, but, as Hollywood showed us, also capable of the most tender feelings! 

That tenderness is perhaps evident in ea 763 The Windmills, he murmured, . . .

Paolozzi had first used this image in an early Bunk! Collage.  Here it is below as featured in the facsimile series printed in 1972 and published by Snail Chemicals:

And, it’s the words that indicate an unseen, but possibly lurking ape in ea 750 My Pal the Gorilla Gargantua:

How’s that for colour vibrancy!
For more on 60s prints, please have a look at

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Elephant in the modernised room and some secrets

Formica was a key material for DIY dads, (mine especially), in the Fifties and Sixties; whapped over old table tops, shelves etc., its groovy patterns helped turned Edwardian homes like ours into spaces fit to watch Juke Box Jury in on a Saturday evening.  Invented as far back as 1912, it was a laminate made from kraft paper with a melamine top surface.  Formica-Formikel is the seventh signed print:

Final signed print is Secrets of the Internal Combustion Engine.  Paolozzi was fascinated by engineering and loved related imagery.  Back in the Fifties/Sixties understanding of technology was limited outside specialist communities.  When cutaway drawings of cars and aeroplanes began to appear more frequently in comics/general interest magazines, it really was like letting light in on magic.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Obscure and Obvious

The fifth and sixth signed prints are Ernie and T.T. at St Louis Airport and Donald Duck meets Mondrian:

I suspect that Ernie . . .is to be viewed just as the very pleasing composition of images and pattern it is – I have been unable to deduce to whom/what ‘Ernie’ or ‘T.T’ refer: any suggestions welcome.

Donald . . . is clearly straightforward in terms of external reference and a good example of Paolozzi’s love of combining ‘high’ with ‘low’ brow imagery.  As for the iconography, it’s notable that both Donald Duck and the painting style of Mondrian are instantly recognisable however apparently artlessly they are represented.  That must be a good test of how deeply ingrained into our consciousness a 'brand' has become, something I was exploring in my own painting back in 2003 - see example below, Turkish Delight:

In 1987 Paolozzi said: It is now acceptable to talk seriously about Mickey Mouse as an icon, and even to mention Mickey Mouse and Jesus in the same breath; (Quoted in Eduardo Paolozzi; Writings and Interviews, edited by Robin Spencer; ISBN 0-19-817412-8).

Friday, 17 October 2014

Cover for a Journal, 1967, and current values

This is the fourth of the signed sheets, EA 483:

Single sheets from Moonstrips are offered on ebay currently as follows:

Text sheets - £15 - £45

Text with pictures - £30 - £95

Visuals - £95  - £100

Signed visuals - £595 - £675

Phillips, New York, sold a Moonstrips Empire News Portfolio in 2008 for $6,250, described as follows: 

The complete set of 100 photo-lithographs and screenprints in colours plus justification, on various wove papers and acetate, the full sheets,

15 3/4 x 11 in. (40 x 27.9 cm) (box) all sheets 15 x 10 in. (38.1 x 25.4 cm).  Eight signed and numbered 69/100 in pencil (the total edition was 500 plus 50 artist’s proofs), published by Editions Alecto, London (all with their inkstamp on the reverse), a few with minor creasing in places at the sheet edges, one with pale foxing at the lower sheet, otherwise all in very good condition, original Formed Acrylic magenta box (with large crack on the front and one side detatched). Estimate $3,000 - 4,000. 

Compare this from the same sale: 

Damien Hirst

The Last Supper: Steak and Kidney, 1999.  Screenprint in colors, on Somerset Tub-Sized Satin paper, the full sheet,  S. 60 x 40 in. (152.4 x 101.6 cm).  Signed in pencil, from the edition of 150 (there were also a small number of artist's proofs), published by Paragon Press, London, in very good condition, framed.  Estimate $5,000 - 8,000.  Sold for $5,625

So, one image - have a look at for yourself: for £3,343, or, alternatively, more brilliant images than you’ve got wall space enough for at £69 each, (and the text images free).