Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Richard Hamilton was a key figure in the British and international Pop Art movements, as well as being one of its main theoreticians. The majority of his work is concerned with the art historical traditions in contemporary art. ‘Four Self-Portraits 05.3.81’ takes portraiture as its starting point, using new media to expand its boundaries. Instead of limiting the portrait to a single image, Hamilton uses four. In the early 1980s, the artist took Polaroids of himself and added layers of acrylic colour. After ten years, he digitally converted the photos into transparencies to be made into enlarged prints. Mounted on canvas, they epitomize the layered way in which Hamilton’s works deal with artistic media.