A fascination for machines and mechanical processes inspired the work of both the American Andy Warhol and British artist Eduardo Paolozzi.
I Want to be a Machine takes its name from a much-quoted declaration by Andy Warhol, which the artist made in an interview in 1963. Behind the characteristically off-hand quip was Warhol’s genuine desire to create art that reflected and celebrated our increasingly mechanized, industrial society.
Across the Atlantic, at the same time, Eduardo Paolozzi was responding directly to the beauty he found in machine forms, and he became fascinated by the interface between man and machine – in robots, computers and electronic storage of the world’s knowledge.
Tracing the parallel development in the two artists’ work, the exhibition includes rarely seen Warhol drawings from the 1950s, his famous multi-coloured prints of Marilyn Monroe (on loan from Tate) and a group of recently acquired ‘stitched’ photographs. The Paolozzi works include early collages made in the 1950s, kaleidoscopically coloured prints of the 1960s and 1970s, and a group of sculptures which demonstrates how the artist’s approach to printmaking was mirrored by his works in three dimensions.