Catalogue entry

[FROM] Reaper d, e, g, h, i and j 1949 [P07648-P07653; incomplete]

Six etchings from a series of 16, printed by the artist at the Slade School of Art in small editions of varying trial proofs.
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Lit: Richard Hamilton Richard Hamilton Prints 1939–1983 1984, nos.23, 24 and 26 to 29 respectively, all repr. pp.25–8

P07652 Reaper i
Aquatint 7 7/8×10 7/8 (200 × 277) on paper 10 1/2 × 13 7/8 (268 × 352)
Inscribed ‘R Hamilton’ b.r. and ‘5/25’ and on the back ‘Reaper (i)’

Hamilton had already made nearly 20 etchings when he began to experiment with the mechanical imagery provided by a reaping machine in order to test the depictive possibilities of the medium and the individual characters of the marks it would produce in a far more conscious way. ‘The “Reaper” series was inspired by Giedeon's Mechanization Takes Command. Repetition of the simple contrasting forms of the agricultural machine provided material for investigating the technical resources at the Slade School. The “variations” were shown at Gimpels a year after their execution’ (Hamilton, p.23). For that exhibition Hamilton marked edition numbers on his proofs assuming an edition size of 20 or 25 for the benefit of possible customers: in fact he printed very few of each and probably not more than half the number marked in each case.

This and the following entries have been approved by the artist.

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