Richard Hamilton - Protest Pictures
31 July - 12 October 2008
Richard Hamilton: "Study for 'Portrait of Hugh Gaitskell as a Famous Monster of Filmland'", 1964, oil and collage on photograph on panel, 61 x 61 cm.
Richard Hamilton is one of the great artists of our time, whose originality continues to influence younger generations through a career which spans over fifty years. The paintings, collages and installation in Protest Pictures were selected by the artist for Inverleith House and this was the first exhibition to examine Hamilton's exacting portrayal of political actions, movements and figures which have shaped our lives.
In the 1960s, Hamilton parodied the then leader of the Labour Government (Hugh Gaitskell) for rejecting a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament and in the 1980s he began a trilogy of paintings based upon the conflicts in Northern Ireland; The citizen (1982-3), The subject (1988-9) and The state (1993) were shown alongside works from the collection of the artist and his wife, the painter Rita Donagh, for the first time.
Hamilton's earliest artistic influences were the Victorian natural scientist D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson (who was born very close to the Royal Botanic Garden) and the artist Marcel Duchamp. A member of the Independent Group, Hamilton (b. 1922) became a founder of the British Pop Art movement and an influential teacher - most notably in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 1993 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale where he was awarded the Golden Lion.
6 Days a Week - Richard Hamilton - Protest Pictures Film Series
Inverleith House, Lower Ground Floor Gallery
6 Days A Week was a series of seminal films (including Kitchen Sink Dramas and Swinging London films) whose innovative style and interest in the changing landscape of Britain and British culture in the 1960's could be seen to parallel the early work of Richard Hamilton, as seen in Protest Pictures. Six films were screened (one per day, Tuesday to Sunday), whilst every day the 1969 documentary Richard Hamilton was shown: made by James Scott in collaboration with the artist, this brings together images of Hamilton's works, contemporary news footage (and cultural ephemera) - with a commentary by the artist.
Curated by Victoria Miguel. With thanks to: The British Film Institute, Filmbank and The Arts Council Of England.
All works courtesy of the artist. © Richard Hamilton.
An audio recording of the discussion ‘Richard Hamilton in Conversation' with Hal Foster and Michael Bracewell, chaired by Mark Francis held to accompany the exhibition is available online from TATE ETC.