Richard Hamilton Retrospective

Richard Hamilton Retrospective Exhibition
Tate Modern April 2014

This retrospective at Tate Modern charts the evolution of Richard Hamilton’s artistic output very thoroughly, which makes for a highly absorbing exhibition – I felt quite exhausted by the end!

I hadn’t been aware of the diversity of Hamilton’s work until seeing this exhibition – it explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well as his engagement and collaborations with other artists. I discovered that Hamilton’s art is anti-romantic. Rather than evolving a single style to express his personality, he seems to have regarded each work as a separate intellectual problem – exploring each analytically.

I particularly liked his ‘My Marilyn’ 1965 – a collage from contact prints that Marilyn herself had marked with crosses those she pictures didn’t like and which Hamilton has painted over – indicating poignantly her vulnerability and tendency for self destruction. Stronger I thought than Warhol’s Marilyn portraits, but not as eye-catching.

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