Rio: Sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi

12:00am-12:00am, 30 July 2022–31 October 2023

Rio: Sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi

Rio is a bronze sculpture created by the pre-eminent Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi (1924 – 2005) on loan to Hospitalfield from the Hunterian in Glasgow. We are delighted to be collaborating with the team at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow to make this major loan possible with the support of The Paolozzi Foundation. Commissioned in 1964 by the Dundee collector of surrealist art, Gabrielle Keiller, the work is an outstanding example of Paolozzi’s art works exploring the connections between humans and machines.

Rio is in the Garden at Hospitalfield until October 2023 and a programme of events will begin in Autumn 2022. Rio is the Annual Sculpture Exhibition for 2022-23. The Garden at Hospitalfield is open from Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm.

A euphoric assemblage of mechanical appearing bronze objects, the work combines the circular forms cast from actual machine parts, film reels and Paolozzi’s own more musical score like cast sculptures. Inspired by the Surrealists, Paolozzi often created art works using a collage technique across 2D and 3D form. In the case of Rio, creating 3D collages was a feat of sculptural engineering and construction which Paolozzi achieved with the ‘lost wax method’ for metal casting.

Exhibiting the work in the Hospitalfield Garden enhances the manmade/organic relationship and draw attention to the curved and sharp forms created by the bronze work in contrast to our maturing new Garden. This display is reminiscent of its display in 1987 in the Sculptures in the Garden exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London and in 1988 at the Glasgow Garden Festival. The sculpture’s relationship with the Garden will change with each season.

We experience this joyful, chaotic sculpture in symphony with all the seasons; surrounded by vigorous plant growth in the summer to the starker depths of winter. It could not be better to live with an art work and to see it differently, to ‘whittle out’ of our experience, what the artists intentions might have been and what the work means to us personally.

Rio was gifted to The Hunterian in 1986 from the surrealist art collector Gabrielle Keiller. Paolozzi is said to have been inspired by and informed the Surrealist art works in Kieller’s collection and had an enduring relationship of patronage by the collector. Rio comes from a highly regarded period of Paolozzi’s sculptural practice which was described by curator Frank Whitford as “the engineering period” when Paolozzi was frequently casting catalogue and found machine parts in his sculptural work and is said to have been aiming for an ‘impersonal feel’ to his work.

To exhibit Rio at Hospitalfield has involved working closely between the team at Hunterian in Glasgow, Powder Hall in Edinburgh with the kind support of The Paolozzi Foundation who have made the loan possible.

The Artist: Eduardo Paolozzi (1924 – 2005)

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924 – 2005) was one of the most important British artists of the late twentieth century. His work, which included sculpture, drawing, printmaking, textile design and film, was culturally omnivorous. It incorporated a vast range of images and objects from sources as diverse as Hollywood and science journals to the pickings of a junkyard and the sculpture of Michelangelo. Often called a founder of Pop Art, a term he neither liked nor acknowledged for his own work, his art captured the breadth of the modern world.

The Paolozzi Foundation was established by the artist in 1994 and became a registered charity in the same year with the objects “to advance the education of the public by the promotion of their appreciation of the fine arts and in particular works of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi”.

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