Interiors, 1964

The interior had occupied Hamilton’s interest since his famous collage for This is Tomorrow. In 1964, he re-engaged with the genre after coming across a publicity still for the 1948 film Shockproof, in which the actress Patricia Knight stands over the body of a man she has just shot. Hamilton was intrigued by the way the image’s ‘foreboding atmosphere’ was achieved by a distorted use of perspective as much as by its overt content.

Hamilton’s research led to a series of collages, the painting Desk, and then to a pair of large paintings titled Interior I and II. Hamilton set the silkscreened images of Knight in different spaces. Both feature curtains, revealing scenes defined by strong, but not always coherent lines of perspective. The first is dominated by a desk and a mirror showing the space outside; in the second, more modern interior, the metallic backing of an Eames chair reflects light from its surroundings, while a TV introduces another external space: Dallas, 1963, and the assassination of President Kennedy.