Catalogue entry

P07937 Fashion-plate 1969–70

Screenprint with offset lithography, hand colouring and collage 29 1/2 × 25 5/8 (749 × 650) on paper 39 × 27 1/4 (990 × 692) watermarked ‘FABRIANO’, offset lithography printed by Sergio and Fausta Tosi, Milan, screenprinting by Chris Prater at Kelpra Studio, published by Petersburg Press in an edition of 70
Inscribed ‘Tony's proof from Richard’ b.r.
Purchased at Sotheby's (Grant-in-Aid) 1983
Lit: Hamilton, no.74, repr. p.55; Morphet, pp.86–7

‘Fashion-plate’ is related to a series of ‘Cosmetic Studies’ of the same title made in 1969, in which Hamilton put together fragments of photographs of models from fashion magazines. With a full-length painting on this subject in mind, three preliminary studies were made, then,

Determined to make a print as a further step towards a painting, Hamilton photographed, in collaboration with Tony Evans, a carefully-chosen grouping of studio equipment for fashion photography, to act as a frame for a head-and-shoulders image, and to emphasise the ritualistic character of the fashion photo-session. This was lithographed in Milan, soft tonality and luminous whiteness being accentuated. Hamilton began building up on the sheet... collage elements which should recur throughout the print's edition. As this proceeded, the difficulty of obtaining sufficient identical collage material for an edition combined with the developing physical interest of this and other studies to change the project to one of an interlinked series of collage-drawings (Morphet, p.86).

A further twelve collages were made (repr. Morphet, pp.88–9). In order to solve the problem of obtaining identical collage elements for the editioned print he still wanted to make using the same lithographed framework, Hamilton borrowed transparencies from David Bailey and had the fragments he required printed from them, also in Milan (the high technical quality of Bailey's original ektochromes permitted reproduction whereas printing from already-printed source material would not have been satisfactory). Areas of flat colour were screenprinted at Kelpra. Pochoir was done by the artist (with the assistance of Ernie Donagh) in his own studio; finally Hamilton added handmade marks in cosmetics.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986