Theory of Relativity

Accession Number

Theory of Relativity

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
screenprint on paper

40 3/16 in x 26 9/16 in (102.08 cm x 67.47 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Professor Diane M. Kirkpatrick

Subject matter
As one of the founders of the Independent Group, Paolozzi was an early British Pop artist. This print came after his travels in California, where he visited tourist sites like Disneyland, Frederick's of Hollywood, and Paramount Studios, as well as centers of technology: UC Computer Center, Standord's Linear Accelerator center, Douglas Aircraft Company and the GM Assembly Plant in Hayward. Both the title and the text refer to the 1911 theory put forth by the German-born scientist Albert Einstein. The text and the image Paolozzi created engage with the idea of space through lines on a plane—horizontal lines—and their manipulation by time—described in the text as concentric circles. Though the scientist proposed this theory in 1911, Einstein had since become a pop culture icon, not least because of his hand in the Manhattan Project's development.

Physical Description
This print consists of a series of horizontal bands that are made up of a variety of patterns, from grids to dots. The colors used are black, dark and light orange, yellow, pink, tan, white, blue, and red. At the base of the print, there is text in tan that reads: "The theory of relativity, may certainly be a true description of the facts concerned, even though the theory a theory which took such liberties fully, with the help of what is nothing but a host of metaphors taken from the languages of physics, of biology, and of social life, works out / their categorical structure, and only recasts what has formed concentric circles, surrounded by smaller orbs of the same space; then again a vertical band filled with horizontal strokes; and lastly, two vertical bands of concentric circles". The print is signed and numbered (l.r.) "Eduardo Paolozzi A.P 7".

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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Pop (fine arts styles)
artists' proofs
physics concepts
screen prints
space age

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& Author Notes

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