Work in Progress (1962)
About this artwork
‘Work in Progress’ is an exercise in the techniques of collage and montage. Kitaj and Paolozzi collaborated as formal ‘editors’ of found or selected real-life objects and images that were put together in a new context. This work combines tin can covers, photographs, parts of toys and an old, hand-written transcription of the story ‘The Road to Broody’ by Isaac Babel. The large central panel and small photographic panel on the top right are by Kitaj. The smaller surrounding panels, made from tin, are by Paolozzi. The panels are arranged in a made-to-measure frame, created in the style of an altarpiece with wings and a predella. The collision between the religious and consumerist imagery was intended to provoke thought as much as outcry.
- title: Work in Progress
- accession number: GMA 4069
- artists: Eduardo PaolozziScottish (1924 - 2005) Ronald Brooks KitajAmerican (1932 - 2007)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Mixed media
- subject: Pop Art Collage
- date created: 1962
- measurements: 85.30 x 100.00 cm (framed: 85.40 x 100.20 x 3.60 cm)
- credit line: Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995
- copyright: © R. B. Kitaj Estate and DACS, London
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Ronald Brooks Kitaj
Of Italian descent, Paolozzi was born in Leith near Edinburgh. He studied in Edinburgh and London and spent two years in Paris from 1947, where he produced enigmatic, bronze sculptures reminiscent of those by Giacometti. During the same period he made a series of dada and surrealist-inspired collages in which magazine advertisements, cartoons and machine parts are combined, thus anticipating the concerns of Pop Art. Alongside teaching at various art schools he developed his printmaking and sculpture. Paolozzi was particularly interested in the mass media and in science and technology.
Ronald Brooks Kitaj
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Kitaj settled in Britain in 1957. He had previously studied at art schools in New York and Vienna and, after serving with the army in Germany, came to England on a G.I. Scholarship to study in Oxford and at the Royal College of Art, London. At a time when abstract art was prevalent, Kitaj worked figuratively, developing a personal artistic language derived from pictorial and literary sources. He became associated with the loose grouping of artists called the 'School of London', who were concerned with the human form. Kitaj moved to Los Angeles in 1997.