Richard Hamilton



In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Richard Hamilton 1922–2011
Engraving on paper
Image: 245 × 175 mm
Purchased 1982

Catalogue entry

P07658 Still Life? 1955

Engraving 9 5/8 × 6 7/8 (245 × 175) on paper 15 3/4 × 11 5/8 (400 × 295), printed by the artist at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, not editioned

Inscribed ‘R Hamilton’ b.r. and ‘proof’; inscribed in the plate ‘RH 55’
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1982

Lit: Hamilton no.48, repr. p.38

Besides the works related to ‘Growth & Form’ Hamilton had, between 1950 and 1953, made paintings in which a multiple viewpoint was used as a kind of conceptual framework closely related to the traditional convention of drawn perspective. In these, natural forms were depicted in space. Morphet writes:

‘The perspective paintings had populated Hamilton's conceptual pictorial world with forms of life, had examined the question of spectator movement, and had commented on the painter's own role in making a two-dimensional analogy for three-dimensional facts. In several works of 1954–5 [including ‘Still Life?’], Hamilton brought his growing need for pictorial expression... to bear on all these problems simultaneously. These works... executed from life, mark Hamilton's return to figurative art at a moment when abstract painting in Britain was growing exceptionally in both scope and reputation (Morphet, pp.23–4).

‘Still Life?’ was the last of this group and the one in which Hamilton's interest in Futurist imagery is perhaps most evident.

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

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