paolozzi’s dead reckoning.


a high drama about a controversial london art gang, known as the independent group. featuring alison smithson (lizabeth scott) and peter smithson (humphrey bogart) and main script writers with nigel henderson (photography). directed by eduardo paolozzi. playing nightly. #scott #bogart #independentgroup #paolozzi #smithsons #henderson

The Independent Group was a highly significant collection of writers, thinkers and creative practitioners which met at the ICA from 1952–5 and included alison and peter smithson, eduardo paolozzi, nigel henderson (pictured above) lawrence alloway and richard hamilton amongst others.

the four person team of the smithsons, paolozzi and henderson came together to propose the exhibition, Parallel of Life and Art to the ICA in March 1952 that began a long term collaboration. it spanned science and art that created a total environment juxtaposing a host of black and white images taken from both art and non-art sources. it was vaunted for its overall crudeness, vulgarity and rawness, its deliberate ugliness and polemical stance.

this theme was to continue with the goop’s contribution to the ‘this is tomorrow’ exhibition at the whitechapel gallery in 1956. the Smithsons created the Patio and Pavilion area with their old Parallel of Life and Art team, Nigel Henderson and Eduardo Paolozzi. it consisted of a makeshift ‘lean to’, echoing the life in henderson’s east end, and patio area, strewn with random objects. it had a distinctly archaeological feel with object tracing mans (pre)history along side objects of the everyday. a montage of art objects, found objects and invented artefacts.