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Paolozzi has attempted to re-invigorate the rather moribund state of portrait sculpture in the twentieth century. His portrait busts since his 'Mr. Cruikshank' of 1950 have been made in interchangeable sections and many parts are recycled. He has made busts both on commission and of people he admires. Paolozzi bought a plastic toy mouth which was also a harmonica. He like the mouth and its aural connection, and decided to utilise a cast of it in this head. Count Basie was an American jazz pianist and band leader and the artist has admired him since the age of fourteen. This bronze cast is one of an edition of three, and all three have different patinations.

September 2004