Shattered Head, 1956
Signed, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'E. Paolozzi 5/6 Suisse Fond Paris'
Gold patinated bronze. Conceived in 1956 and cast in a total edition of 9. 3 unnumbered editions were cast at Fiorini and Carney, London. This cast from an edition of 6 cast at Suisse Fondeur, Paris in 1958.
11 1/4 x 9 3/4 x 5 7/8 in, 28.6 x 24.8 x 15 cm
Eduardo Paolozzi’s work has been described as ‘battered but defiantly alive figures…[relaying] the gruesome details of horrific catastrophes wrought by man and nature in all parts of the globe’. In the same way in which Moore’s solid and heroic Helmet Heads were made in direct response to the atrocities of the War and fears of encroaching nuclear war so Paolozzi’s shattered imagery dealt with those same anxieties.
Paolozzi’s bronzes were created using the lost-wax casting method, the wax cast deliberately dropped on the floor, and the pieces collected and re-assembled by Paolozzi with a hot knife. Judith Collins has suggested, 'this rough assembly was deliberate, mimicking the way fragments of ancient sculptures and pottery are dug up from the earth and then attempts are made to try and fit them together.' This anarchic approach neatly subverted the solemnity of Moore’s modernism.
Paolozzi was a key member of the Independent Group, a collective of artists and critics which first gathered at the ICA in London in the winter of 1952-3. In the Spring of 1953, the ICA staged the exhibition 'The Wonder and Horror of the Human Head' curated by ICA founder Roland Penrose.
Ayala Zacks, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto (acquired from the above and thence by descent)
Private Collection, Toronto
London, Hanover Gallery, Contemporary
Sculpture, 24 July - 14 September 1956, cat no.46, illus. b/w, another cast
London, Hanover Gallery, Paolozzi,
11 November - 31 December 1958, cat no.36, illus. b/w, another cast
Wuppertal, Kunst-und Museumsverein, Sammlung
Sir Edward and Lady Hulton, London, 13 June 1964, cat no.40, another cast;
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Frankfurt, Kunstverein Munich,
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, 10 April - 16 May 1965; Dortmund, Museum am
Ostwall; Humblebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, December 1965, cat no.40,
another cast; Zurich, Kunsthaus, 3 December 1967 - 7 January 1968, cat no.41,
Hanover, Kestner Gesellschaft, Eduardo
Paolozzi, 6 December 1974 - 19 January 1975, cat no.8, illus. b/w p.69,
Berlin, National Galerie, Eduardo Paolozzi,
5 February - 6 April 1975, cat no.15, illus. b/w p.77, Tate Gallery cast
Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, Eduardo
Paolozzi, Recurring Themes, Summer 1984, cat no.A1.4, illus. b/w, p.22,
Tate Gallery cast; Munich, Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Autumn 1984;
Cologne, Museum Ludwig, 1985; Breda, De Beyard Centrum Voor Beeldende Kunst,
Diane Kirkpatrick, Eduardo Paolozzi, Studio Vista, London, 1970, p35, illus b/w, pl 26, another cast illus
Winfried Konnertz, Eduardo Paolozzi, Du Mont Buchverlag, Cologne, 1984, pp82-85, 87, 270, illus b/w pl. 16, another cast illus
Bryan Robertson, Elisabeth Frink, Sculpture, Catalogue Raisonné, Harpvale Books, Salisbury, 1994, illus b/w p52, another cast illus
Robin Spencer (ed.), Eduardo Paolozzi: Writings and Interviews, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, p148, 150n, another cast illus