EXHIBITION – As an artist in search of inspiration, the arrest of your dealer might not be your go-to choice of subject matter.
But then this isn't the swinging '60s and
most artists are not the Pop Art legend, Richard
After his dealer, Robert Fraser, was
arrested along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at Richards'
home in Sussex in 1967, Hamilton based his Swingeing London
67 series of prints and paintings on a newspaper
photograph of a handcuffed Fraser and Jagger taken through a prison
van window. It is now surely one of British Pop Art's best known
A major retrospective of Hamilton's work has
just opened at Tate Modern until May 26, with another exhibition at
the Institute of Contemporary Arts (until 6 April), and to coincide
with those shows print specialists Alan Cristea Gallery have
mounted a show called Richard Hamilton: Word and Image, Prints
1963-2007, at 31 & 34 Cork Street in Mayfair until March
Alan Cristea first met Hamilton in 1974 and
worked closely with the artist for over 30 years. The gallery is
now the distributor of Hamilton's prints and the show includes 51
prints from both the estate and their own stock, images of protest
alongside portraits, interiors and landscapes.
The 1956 collage Just what is it that
makes today's homes so different, so appealing? is
possibly Hamilton's most famous work. A 1991 print of this is
included in the show, alongside one of his earliest experiments
with screen printing, Adonis in Y fronts from
Hamilton said that Pop Art was meant to be
"popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass-produced, young,
witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and Big Business".
Big business it certainly still is, but
expendable and low cost not so much - prices here range from £1800
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