Becoming is Meaning like Nothing is GoingArtist(s)Sir Eduardo PaolozziArtist NationalityBritish (modern)Object Creation Date1965-1970Medium & Supportphotolithograph on paperDimensions
14 15/16 in x 10 in (38 cm x 25.4 cm)Credit LineGift of Professor Diane M. KirkpatrickSubject matter
Like many of his contemporaries, Paolozzi used new printing techniques as a way to engage with modern mass media's new visual culture. At the same time, the photomechanical process made the work look mechanically manufactured rather than hand-made, in the traditional artistic sense. Therefore after he modified, transformed, and assembled the source image(s), the medium would allow for a more uniform final image.
This print is one of a large series of 50 prints included in the 1970 portfolio, which was a second edition of an earlier group of slightly-larger prints titled "Moonstrips Empire News." While the first series was strictly produced as screenprints, this second series "General Dynamic F.U.N." includes works of photolithography, like this one. The themes seen in this portfolio are different in style and subject matter from other Pop works of the period, but engage with the images of a modern mass media, looking beyond just advertising and publicity images. Likewise, the title of the portfolio alludes to the General Dynamics Corporation, who was the manufacturer of the F-111 fighter used during the Vietnam War—the same one referenced in James Rosenquist monumental painting "F-111."
This print is one of a few in the series that does not include found photos or easily-recognizable pop-culture references. Since there is a play of geometry and optical illusion, the work likely references contemporary trends in American art like Minimalism, which he references elsewhere in this series in the print titled Synthetic Sirens in the Pink Light District.
This print's title also points to this reading because the minimalist object can be seen as "nothing" and, how the meaning is in the relationship to said object and not in itself, creates meaning through "becoming."Physical Description
This photolithographic print in shades of pink and blue has a series of grids and squares that overlap to create a kind of optical illlusion.Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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Pop (fine arts styles)