Eduardo Paolozzi

Master of the Universe (1989)

About this artwork

'Master of the Universe' is based on a famous drawing by William Blake, which shows the scientist Isaac Newton. Paolozzi used the same pose as in the Blake drawing, but has mechanised the figure. The sculpture was made by cutting up and reassembling a plaster model, as the artist frequently does in his later work. A similar but much larger sculpture can be seen in the courtyard of the British Library in London. However while the figure in this sculpture is blind, the London version was given the same eyes as Michelangelo's 'David.'

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Of Italian descent, Paolozzi was born in Leith near Edinburgh. He studied in Edinburgh and London and spent two years in Paris from 1947, where he produced enigmatic, bronze sculptures reminiscent of those by Giacometti. During the same period he made a series of dada and surrealist-inspired collages in which magazine advertisements, cartoons and machine parts are combined, thus anticipating the concerns of Pop Art. Alongside teaching at various art schools he developed his printmaking and sculpture. Paolozzi was particularly interested in the mass media and in science and technology.