Where To Find Eduardo Paolozzi's Sculptures In London

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 19 months ago

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Where To Find Eduardo Paolozzi's Sculptures In London

Paolozzi was a prolific artist and his work can be seen all over London, from the well-known mosaics in Tottenham Court Road station to the lesser-known sculpture in the Economist's Plaza. Why not go on a Paolozzi trail?

The British Library

We love the Paolozzi sculpture outside The British Library.

This is one that any visitor to the British Library can't miss. The colossal statue depicts a seated Isaac Newton bent over a compass. It's based on the William Blake painting which is in the Tate collection, and brightens up our day every time we stride across the library's courtyard.

Euston

The rather amorphous sculpture at Euston showing a lack of maintenance.

Despite its size, this large sculpture is easily missed due to its hard-to-identify form. It's arguably the least recognisable as a Paolozzi on this list. It sits outside Euston station and nobody seems to know who is responsible for looking after it.

The sculpture itself displays a mixture of organic and mechanical elements, in an homage to the German Expressionist and theatre director Erwin Piscator.

Check out other free public art in the Euston area.

Tottenham Court Road

We're glad to see these mosaics are back.

Yes the mosaics are back, and we couldn't be happier to pass through this station again. When it was announced that Tottenham Court Road was being refurbished for Crossrail, many Londoners were worried that the colourful mosaics would disappear. We're glad to see that TfL has managed to maintain around 95% of the mosaics to bring some colour underground.

St. James's

Three abstract sculptures in the Economist plaza.

Our trail takes us west to Economist Plaza where three abstract sculptures can be found. The three sculptures, named Suwasa, Trishula and Kalasan, spent a lot of their time in a children's playground in Wallingford, Oxfordshire so they've taken a beating and deserve some respite in this quiet plaza.

Pimlico

As good as air vents get.

Just outside Pimlico station is the best looking Underground ventilation shaft we've seen. As well as keeping air flowing in and out of the London Underground system, this is unmistakably a Paolozzi design, to be enjoyed by those passing by above ground.

Paolozzi's work is often about machines and how they function, so it makes sense that he placed this design on a functional structure.

Design Museum

A head turned into a machine.

We're glad to report that this giant head has travelled with the Design Museum from its old home in Shad Thames to the beautiful new building next to Holland Park. The work is called the Head of Invention, and if you wander round behind it, you can see all the machinery that keeps it going.

Kew Gardens

Courtesy Kew Gardens

Head to the South end of the Princess of Wales conservatory and there will be a Paolozzi to spot. Lying down this being looks like it's been disassembled into its component parts and is trying to piece itself back together again. It's called 'A Maximis Ad Minima' (form greatest to least in English).

Royal Victoria Dock

The god of the forge looms over us.

We finish our trail by travelling all the way back east to this sculpture near Excel (it's one of those rare times that the cable cars might actually come in useful). Here we see Paolozzi's Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metalwork, in the Docklands — an area known for its industrial past. It's part of the sculpture trail known as The Line.

The one that is no more

While this god of the forge is no longer.

Finally we wanted to give a mention to a work that used to grace Holborn. It was commissioned for the offices of the London & Paris Property Group, which subsequently sold it at auction in 2012. It depicted the Greek god Hephaestus, but with the face of the artist.

Have we missed any? Let us know and we'll add them to this list.

*The Kew Gardens entry was added after initial publication. Thank you to those readers who pointed out the omission.

Last Updated 15 May 2017