London to Paris, 1999

Eduardo Paolozzi was one of the most innovative and irreverent artists of the 20th century. Considered the ‘godfather of Pop Art’, his sculptures and prints challenged artistic convention, from the 1950s through to the Swinging Sixties and advent of ‘Cool Britannia’ in the 1990s. London to Paris is a maquette for a larger sculpture and the last work the artist completed before his death in 2005. Every year between the ages of 9 and 15, Paolozzi travelled from Edinburgh to Milan, changing trains in London and Paris. He was fascinated by the relationship between man and the mechanized world of the 20th century, and made frequent studies of engines and modes of transport. The piece depicts a railway wagon loaded with the dismembered hands, feet and head of a figure, along with a number of ambiguous, industrial parts.