Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First visit to Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern

2014 seems to be the year for celebrating Richard Hamilton who has been given the mantle of the father of Pop Art the Tate Modern show is definitely worth visiting and offers an ideal opportunity to see the breadth of the vision that Richard's work covers.

The early 'Pop' works still have a freshness and vitality which must have hit like a fluorescent neon disco when it was revealed  and Interiors I and II with their use of reflections are brilliant iconic examples of Hamilton's  Draughtsmanship .


You need to see this in the flesh to appreciate the chair.
Along with paintings he was involved in  three dimensional works which you can enjoy as you walk through the collection and you can see how he approached the Beatles design brief for their 1968 double LP.

As well as the humour  the work's insight into consumerism exhibits there's a far more political passion than I had anticipated before seeing his work collectively.  I have seen The Citizen many times at Tate Britain but when it is hung with the other works related to Northern Ireland it's message can  not be avoided.

The Blair of  'Shock and Awe' is a powerful swipe at the recent Middle Eat adventures  and Maps of Palestine  makes the case against the Israeli land grabs that have followed the 1967 war clear and unambiguous -

On his place within artistic firmament his work often speaks for itself although his admiration for Duchamp is perhaps at a more philosophical level then majorly influencing his own style and output.
[Such was the artistic debt that Hamilton felt he owed to Duchamp required him to painstakingly recreate The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors in 1965.]

 Although he was rejected at an early stage of his career for not benefiting from teaching once he became appreciated  within the Art world Hamilton used his position to champion the next wave of Pop Art which included Hockney and Blake and he was a valued  teacher to one of Pop's (music)  most aesthetic figures Bryan Ferry.

Passage of the Bride reminded me of David Hockney and the Polaroids and  multiple Jagger and Monroe prints show a  relationship to what Warhol was also examining in Pop (arts) heyday.

[The exhibition is on until Mid May at Tate Modern]


Hamilton's Passage of the Bride





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