Letters of praise from city planners the world over continue to arrive for Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, the Edinburgh-born creator of subtly meaningless sculpture who died recently at the age of 81. The late artist was highly esteemed by mayors, city councillors, university trustees, as well as the architects of banks and other monumental structures, for the striking, yet meaningless and inoffensive qualities of his work. Paolozzi sculptures grace public squares, atriums, and corporate plazas in more than 30 cities, causing bemused stares, and not a single recorded complaint as yet, from members of the public.
According to Elisabeth Michaelson, curator of the Edinburgh Gallery of Modern Art: His works offer a unique mixture of apparent depth and ultimate meaninglessness that is highly valued in today's large sculpture market. They have neither the haunting desperation or Henry Moore, nor the emaciated energy of Alberto Giacometti. They're not punching, visceral reminders of the failings of humanity, like the controversial sculpture of Mona Hatoum, nor are they confident, straightforwardly decorative pieces like those of Alex Calder. They look at first sight as if they are deeply meaningful, but they're not! This makes him a truly versatile artist - you can safely put his works anywhere.
The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced plans to move one of the artist's most recognisable and pointless works, a giant brass foot purchased by the bank in 1987, in front of its headquarters in St Andrew Square.