Still life with rose signed, inscribed and dated 'To Brenda/From Eduardo Paolozzi/august 1950' (lower right) wash, collage, pen and ink 35 x 55.5 cm. (13 3/4 x 21 3/4 in.)
Provenance: Brenda Davison Thence by descent
Literature: Robin Spencer (Ed.), Eduardo Paolozzi, Writings and Interviews, Oxford, 2000, pp.26, 42 Nicholas Ind, Terence Conran, London, 1995, pp.48, 53, 58, 60-1
This attractive collage was made the year after Paolozzi returned to London from Paris where he had been living since 1947. In 1950 Paolozzi was teaching textile design two days a week at the Central School of Art, where other members of staff included Richard Hamilton, William Turnbull, and Nigel Henderson who taught photography, and with whom Paolozzi would establish Hammer Prints in 1954. At the Central one of Paolozzi's second year students was Terence Conran who was very much influenced by him, and remembers Paolozzi assembling everyday objects, such as shells, food labels, comic strips, and insects, into collages, 'with enviable ease and confidence. He'd dip a pen into black ink and every mark he made was just right, even the blots seemed totally under his control . . .' (Spencer).
After Conran left the Central in 1950 he shared a garage/studio with Paolozzi in Bunsen Road, Bethnal Green, where he taught Paolozzi welding. In 1951 Paolozzi designed a fountain for the Festival of Britain, while Conran was designing modern furniture. In 1950 they saw a lot of each other. Both had rooms in W14, just off Kensington High Street: Paolozzi in Holland Road, Conran in Warwick Gardens. This collage is inscribed to Brenda Davison, who trained as an architect in Cambridge, and who had renovated the house where Conran was living in Warwick Gardens. She was then working in Dennis Lennon's architectural office where Conran was also a junior designer. She later married Conran. Paolozzi was a frequent visitor to Warwick Gardedns, because, according to Davison, 'where he lived was so horrid'. This collage, which Paolozzi dedicated to her, may have been made at the Central, or in the basement of Warwick Gardens, 'where there was big kitchen with a table in the middle' (Ind).
Robin Spencer would like to thank Freda Paolozzi for valuable assistance with this note.
We are grateful to Robin Spencer for compiling this catalogue entry.