Room 18

Late works

The works in this room show Hamilton’s visual and technical interests in the last years of his life. While developing new production methods, Hamilton also looked back to earlier motifs.

Hamilton accepted an invitation to display his painting Lobby in the lobby of the Hotel du Rhône in Geneva. He worked on a print, Chiara & Chair and later a painting of this subject, Hotel du Rhône. Of the process of making the print, he commented: ‘the gift that the computer offers a confirmed collagist is that it is possible to gain a measure of control over the collaged elements.’ Digital programmes also allowed perspective lines to be mapped out and for elements in the scene to be pulled into perspective.

In 2008, Hamilton returned to the subject of the toaster, which had first appeared in his 1958 Toastuum and later in the 1960s Toasters. For his Toaster Deluxe series, he set the highly reflective branded objects against different out-of-focus backgrounds.

In 2010 Hamilton was invited to contribute a painting to an exhibition about Balzac’s novella The Unknown Masterpiece, whose protagonist, a painter named Frenhofer, attempts to paint a perfect nude but instead produces an illegible ‘dead wall of paint’. Hamilton conceived an image in which three figures – Titian, Poussin, and Courbet – stand over a reclining nude. The tripartite painting of this subject is his last work, completed on 9 September 2011.