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Paolozzi began collecting images from American popular magazines as a child and continued to do so as an adult. In Paris in the late 1940s he was given such material by American ex-servicemen studying in the city. These images presented a seductive world of glamour, wealth and consumption which contrasted with war-ravaged Europe. For Paolozzi, they also possessed artistic value as the iconography of a new world. In 1952 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, he projected a selection of this material onto a screen like an art-historical lecture. This event has come to be seen as a key moment in the development of Pop art.

April 2005