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A central theme in the work of British sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi has been the condition of man in the technological age. From 1950 the artist made a series of disembodied heads, such as this one, whose surface texture is derived from broken locks, rivets and other debris of mass manufacture. Here and there the armoured head is punctured to reveal a hollow interior. In classical mythology the Cyclops were a race of one-eyed giants who forged thunderbolts for Zeus. Paolozzi’s faceless and battered creature appears both heroic and pathetic.

July 2012