British sculptor, collagist, printmaker, filmmaker and writer. Born of Italian parents, he attended Edinburgh College of Art in 1943 with a view to becoming a commercial artist. After brief military service, in 1944 he attended St Martin's School of Art in London, and from 1945 to 1947 he studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art. In the late 1940s he made various sculptures inspired by Surrealism, and also produced a number of collages, which blend the incongruous juxtapositions of Surrealism with Paolozzi's interest in images of modern machinery.
From 1949 to 1955 Paolozzi taught at the Central School of Art and Design in London. In 1956 he collaborated on a section of the This is Tomorrow exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. In his own work of the 1950s he concentrated on the human form, representing it as brutalised and anguished. In his sculptures he incorporated impressions made by machine and other metal parts into the wax maquettes, which were then cast in bronze.
In the early 1960s Paolozzi developed a new way of creating his sculpture by collaborating with industrial engineering firms and eventually using aluminium.
During the 1970s Paolozzi experimented with wood in a number of abstract relief works using an intricate network of geometric and biomorphic elements. Among his private work of the 1980s were a number of mutilated heads appearing as if badly pieced together from sections. The head was also the subject of collages and other sculptural works of the decade