Donna SeamanRichard Hamilton is usually thought of as a British pop artist, but his oeuvre is far more diversified and extensive than this casual tag implies. Morphet, of the Tate Gallery, has put together a definitive catalogue of Hamilton's work that boasts 304 illustrations, 106 in color. Here we can appreciate the full range of Hamilton's societal perspectives and inventive visual styles. Introductory essays provide biographical background and articulate Hamilton's fascination with the transformation of mass-media images. Comparisons are drawn between Hamilton and Marcel Duchamp, and Hamilton's pioneering fusion of artistic techniques is discussed. Within the reproductions, dark, cubist-inspired portraits give way quickly to airy abstractions, which, in turn, evolve into Hamilton's best-known work, his punning, ironic, and erotic collages reflecting the silliness of the 1960s consumer culture. Very much a man of his times, Hamilton pokes fun at our deification of machines and plasticization of beauty. In his recent work, he has returned to observational painting, but without losing his intellectual edge. This is a high-quality publication (in either paper or cloth) about a seminal artist not previously well-represented in print.
- University of Washington Press
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