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Item Code: EP-totcourt-s
Oil on melamine
Width (cm)
Height (cm)
Date of Work
Base price $33,437
Includes free framing and UK delivery
Signed oil on melamine panel with screenprinted outline.

Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s London’s transport department began a lengthy campaign to modernize its labyrinthine network of underground stations, appealing to a number of artists to aid with their redecoration. As the grandfather of Pop Art and with a formidable reputation as a sculptor and printmaker, Paolozzi was an obvious first choice.

Approached in 1979, the artist immediately engaged with the given brief: ‘I thought always of the people who use the Tube. What happens when a platform is crowded? What happens when people pass quickly through the station on the train? Will people relate to the metaphors I sought in connection with life above ground – cameras, music shops, saxophones, electronics? …My ‘alphabet’ of images for Tottenham Court Road reflects my interpretation of the past, present and future of the area.’

Inspired by the station’s location amidst hi-fi stores and camera shops, Paolozzi began work by producing monumental studies for the later mosaics. Drawing out his designs in miniature, these sketches were then enlarged and transferred to screens before being printed on enormous melamine panels. Colour was then applied by hand, the ceramic-like surface of the plates lending Paolozzi’s oils a translucency to mimic the vibrant colour of the final mosaic pieces.

With its sprawling pipes and wires and blueprint layouts, this panel represents an essential historic relic of the project, demonstrating the ease with which Paolozzi’s creative mind moved from the small-scale to the colossal. Superbly composed and truly iconic, it makes for a genuine once-in-a-lifetime piece.
Eduardo Paolozzi PortraitBorn in Scotland to Italian parents, Paolozzi attended evening classes at the Edinburgh College of Art and studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, later transferring to London’s Slade School of Art, where he graduated in 1947. He moved to Paris for three years where he became involved in Dadaism and Surrealism. In 1950, Paolozzi returned to London, quickly becoming a leading member of the Independent Group.

A significant member of the Group, Paolozzi greatly influenced the development of Pop Art. He emerged fully onto the Pop Art scene in 1962 with his abstract, robot-like figures such as Four Towers and Solo, but of all his work his screenprints are said to have had the largest impact on Pop Art. He taught all over the world as guest professor and lecturer, and was knighted in 1988. Eduardo Paolozzi died in 2005.
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