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Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, 1924–2005
Published by Editions Alecto Ltd.

Tortured Life

Part Of:

Collective Title: As Is When

Materials & Techniques:
Screen print on H.P. J. Green 133 lbs. white wove paper
Sheet: 38 × 26 inches (96.5 × 66 cm), Image: 31 × 22 1/2 inches (78.7 × 57.2 cm)

Inscribed in graphite, lower left: "36/65 Image includes the words: 'The tortured mind of an influential modern philosopher: the late Ludwig Wittgenstein | Wright, one day in a trench on the east- | ern front while he was reading a maga- | zine in which there was a picture of the | possible sequence of events in an auto- | mobile accident. The picture, he said, | served as a proposition whose parts cor- | responded to things in reality; and so he | conceived the idea that a propo- | sition is in fact a picture, "by virtue of a | similar correspondence between its parts | and the world." In other words, the struc- | ture of the proposition "depicts a possi- | ble combination of elements in reality, a | possible state of affairs." The Tractatus, | the proposition: "There is no hippopota- | mus in the room at present?" When he | refused to believe this, I looked under all | the desks without finding one; but he | remained unconvinced.'| 'Let us ask the question: "Should we | say that the arrows ® and point in the | same direction or in different directions?" | At first sight you might be inclined to say | "of course in different directions." But | JUNE 64'

Blind embossed chop mark: "ea"

Signed and dated in graphite, lower right: "Eduardo Paolozzi 1965"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Under Copyright
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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The theme of As Is When, Eduardo Paolozzi’s portfolio of twelve screen prints, is the life and work of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the early 1950s, Paolozzi became fascinated with Wittgenstein’s ideas about language and its relationship to the world, which resonated with his own preoccupations regarding the syntax and vocabulary of image making. While Paolozzi derived the textual component of the images from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (first English edition, 1922) and Philosophical Investigations (published posthumously in 1953), he variously gathered his visual sources from materials that included dime store wrapping paper, cheap cutout books, and clippings from engineering manuals. The artist’s collages were translated into screen prints by Chris Prater, who hand cut the stencils, a process requiring precision and sensitivity. Resembling spools of film trailing from cameras, the images in this print reflect Paolozzi’s interest in film—as nexus of art and technology—which he shared with Wittgenstein.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

James Stirling (Yale Center for British Art, 2010-10-14 - 2011-01-02) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Just what was it that made British Pop so different, so appealing? (Yale Center for British Art, 2004-01-26 - 2004-05-09) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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