LONDON -- Sculptor Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, a pioneer of pop art in Britain, has died, his family said. He was 81.
Sir Eduardo's family said he died yesterday morning at a London hospital. He had suffered brain damage from a serious illness four years ago.
Born in Edinburgh, the son of an Italian ice cream vendor, Sir Eduardo was interned with his family as an enemy alien in 1940. He lost his father and other family members in the worst tragedy to befall Scotland's Italian community, the sinking of the Arandora Star off western Ireland in July 1940.
The vessel was torpedoed by a German submarine while taking internees to Canada. Of the 1,600 people aboard, 740 drowned.
Sir Eduardo was eventually drafted, and after World War II military service, he studied at London's St. Martin's College and Slade School of Fine Art.
After the war he lived in Paris, where he was influenced by surrealist and avant-garde artists.
He brought something of surrealism's anarchic energy to work in a variety of media, including sculpture, ceramics, and screen printing.
In the 1950s, Sir Eduardo was an influential member of the Independent Group, based in London, forerunner of the English pop art movement, and his use of pop-culture sources, such as magazines and advertising, foresaw much of 1960s art.
Sir Eduardo participated in the ''This Is Tomorrow" exhibition in London in 1956 and later worked in Berlin and Munich.
His many works of public art include murals at Tottenham Court Road subway station in London and a 12-foot bronze sculpture of Sir Isaac Newton outside the British Library.
In 1986, Sir Eduardo was named ''Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland" by Queen Elizabeth II. He was knighted by the queen in 1989.
Sir Eduardo leaves three daughters. Funeral details were not immediately available.