25 August 2013

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

An unwieldy name, but it does what it says on the tin - and has expanded to a second building, formerly an orphanage, inside which I could happily live ... spending my "working hours" in the Gabrielle Keiller Library -
 Books on three sides of the room, and beautifully-built cases
"Cabinets of curiosities" from Roland Penrose's collection
and sleeping, several rooms away, on the platform in The Paolozzi Studio -
 The studio "is a recreation of the two main London studios where Eduardo Paolozzi lived and worked. Paolozzi's gift to the national Galleries of Scotland consists of three thousand sculptures (mostly plaster casts) and moulds, two thousand prints and drawings, three thousand books and a large collection of the artist's tools and materials, toys, periodicals, scrapbooks, manuscripts, photographs, and slides. The studio reconstruction, conceived and carried out by the National Galleries of Scotland in collaboration with the artist and his assistant, contains most of this material. The large studio table supports a variety of media for sculpture, e.g. wax, plaster, and bronze. The work stations on either side of the entrance show paper-cutting for image-gathering and collage. the space below the sleeping platform houses the bulk of the artist's library, a plan chest of prints, and an area for making scrapbooks. The wooden boxes stacked around the walls are full of small plaster elements that are collaged together to make composite sculptures and installations. Examples of Paolozzi's home-made furniture, e.g. stools and plinths, are interspersed throughout the room." Have a good look round here.

Eduardo Paolozzi grew up in Leith, Edinburgh, moving to London in the 1940s. Throughout his career, Paolozzi combined his work as an artist with teaching in art colleges in Britain and in Germany. He reflected his enthusiastic and encyclopaedic variety of interests by frequently changing the media and styles in which he worked.

Interestingly, Keiller (a major collector of surrealist art) was Paolozzi's most important patron, and displayed his sculpture in her four-acre garden. She had been a champion golfer, thrice married; the money for collecting art came from selling a ranch in Texas that she inherited. Andy Warhol painted her dachshund.

(There was no time to see the other building, but outside it is a major earthwork (by Charles Jencks) on which you're allowed to walk ... no time for that either! "Next time...")

1 comment:

Dijanne Cevaal said...

I am just reading Visiting Picasso- the Notebooks of Roalnd Penrose- a fascinating insight into the life of Picasso but also into the mind of the notemaker, so interesting to see his cabinet of curiosities.