Friday, 9 May 2014

As Is When begins . . .

In February 1964, (the month in which The Beatles were recording Can't Buy Me Love), Paolozzi made a work-note:  collage called the artificial sun; series of collage based upon Wittgenstein precepts.  The resulting images, published the following year, comprise the As Is When suite of screenprints – a ground breaking masterwork. 

At this time, Paolozzi was 40 and best known for his sculpture and involvement with the proto-Pop Independent Group in London in the mid-Fifties.  He had formed an interest in the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein in the early-Fifties and this developed significantly and with great personal empathy when he read Norman Malcolm’s Memoir, published in 1958.  Paolozzi found himself closely identifying himself and his art both with Wittgenstein’s philosophy and his, (problematic) life journey.  Initially, this resulted in sculptures such as Wittgenstein at Casino: the photograph below shows Paolozzi in 1964 in New York where this piece was on exhibition at MOMA:


Artificial Sun is the first of the 12 prints (plus Poster) and is dated 13th May 1964.  It is one of the nine prints in the Suite based on Wittgenstein’s thinking; (the other three depict events/aspects of Wittgenstein’s life).  The incorporated statement: The world is all that is the case is a proposition from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the only work published, (in 1921), before Wittgenstein’s death in 1951.  In this reflection of his early philosophical thinking, Wittgenstein contended that a verbal proposition is a picture of reality.  So now consider the reality of Artificial Sun:
 
 

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