EST. 2009

May 17, 2017

That Super Studio

THERE APPEARED TO BE AT LEAST A THOUSAND FIGURINES of human forms, machine-like parts, and hybrid man-machine creations. Scattered among them were mostly books and art supplies, some chairs and makeshift stools obscured by objects. There were shipping crates and a flat-file cabinet, again, covered in sculptures and clutter. The only uncrowded item was a propeller mounted against a bit of clear wall space.

Welcome to the late Eduardo Paolozzi's studio, or at least a re-creation of it, on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. While the display is designed to evoke the artist's London and Munich studios, most of its contents are in fact Paolozzi's works or personal possessions, which he gave to the gallery in 1994.

On one hand, the studio's hodgepodge reflects Paolozzi's penchant for collage. Though he is associated with sculpture, he worked in a wide range of media and movements, with his 1947 collage "I was a Rich Man's Plaything" considered the earliest representation of Pop Art. Beyond this work, and decades' worth of paper collages, Paolozzi's fondness for the technique carried onto his sculpture, often appearing to have cubic shapes added or removed, and onto his textile designs, which appeared collage-like as well.

On the other hand, the overflow of sculptures, with their multiple versions of multiple subjects, portray an industrious worker with a love for craft. It's great to be able to view an artist's body of work, but it's vitalizing to see evidence of their process and practice.

As a digital designer working off a Macbook and Adobe, I could only wish that my own multiple versions of a subject would produce anything other than digital clutter. But it seems I'll need to dedicate an actual, physical studio for that. Let you know when I do!

Paolozzi Studio, Modern Two, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Photos by Lady San Pedro and Jaime Sese.