Richard Hamilton sitting in front of 'Flower- piece B' series at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York, 1976
Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002
Photographer: Kenneth Tyler

Considered the first major artist of the British Pop Art movement, Richard Hamilton was born in London in 1922. At age 14 he began taking evening art classes at Westminster Technical College and studied at the Royal Academy School from 1938 until its wartime closure in 1940. Though he returned to the Royal Academy School in 1946, he was expelled and forced to undertake 18 months military service. Upon completion, Hamilton studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. His brief collaboration with Kenneth Tyler at Tyler Graphics in 1975 is represented in the National Gallery’s collection of four prints.

The colour lithographs entitled Flower-piece B were originally conceived as a triptych. Taking as their focal point a precisely rendered roll of Andrex toilet paper set against an ornate floral background, the Flower-piece B prints are characteristic of Hamilton’s  work, which consistently draws upon consumer culture and the juxtaposition of disparate styles typically seen in advertising.
Emilie Owens

Further reading

Chronology
 

1922
Born in London, England

1936
Attends evening classes at Westminster Technical College and St. Martin’s School of Art, London

1937
Works in display department of Reinmann Studios School, London

1938-40
Studies painting at Royal Academy of Art, London and printmaking at Central School of Arts and Crafts, London

1939
Completes first print, Figure composition, drypoint on celluloid, at Central School of Arts and Crafts, London

1940
Studies engineering draftsmanship at Government Training Centre

1941-45
Works as jig and tool draftsman

1948-51
Studies at Slade School of Fine Art, London

1950
Solo exhibition, Variations on the theme of Reaper, Gimpel Fils, London

1952
Teaches at Central School of Arts and Crafts, London

1953-66
Teaches at King’s College, University of Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

1956
Included in exhibition, This is tomorrow, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

1957-61
Teaches at Royal College of Art, London

1960
Receives William and Norma Copley Foundation Award for painting

1962
Completes first screenprint, Adonis in Y fronts, Kelpra Studio, London

1963
Travels to United States of America

1964
Included in exhibition, Carnegie international, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

1967
Solo exhibitions: Paintings 1964-67, Galerie Alexandre Iolas, New York; Richard Hamilton: Collagen, Zeichnungen und Seriegraphien, Galerie Ricke, Kassel, West Germany; Richard Hamilton: dipinti e disegni 1957-68, Studio Marconi, Milan, Italy

1968
Included in Documenta 4, Kassel, West Germany Begins first collaboration with Dieter Roth; begins first portraits using Polaroid camera

1969
Collaborates with James Scott on film Richard Hamilton

1970
Receives Talens Prize International, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Travelling solo exhibition, Richard Hamilton, organised by the Tate Gallery, London

1971
Solo exhibitions, Richard Hamilton: prints, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Prints and multiples, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

1973
Travelling solo exhibition, Richard Hamilton, organised by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Completes, Picasso’s Meninas at Atelier Crommelynck, Paris, published by Propylaën Verlag, Berlin

1976
Completes editions of lithographs Flower-piece B; Flower-piece B, Cyan separation; Flowerpiece B, Crayon study and Sunset, at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York

1977
Included in exhibitions: Art off the picture press, Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, New York; Documenta 6, Kassel, West Germany

1978
Solo exhibition, Richard Hamilton: graphics, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; moves to Oxfordshire, England

1980
First use of large format Polaroid camera in Amsterdam to make an edition of ‘Instant painting’; makes The critic laughs for the BBC television series ‘Shock of the New’

1981
Makes first self-portraits with Polaroid camera

1982
Publishes Collected words 1953-1982 (London: Thames and Hudson)

1983
Travelling solo exhibition, Richard Hamilton: image and process 1952-1982, organised by Tate Gallery, London

1984
Included in exhibition, Prints from Tyler Graphics, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; begins design of the OHIO computer for the Swedish company Isotron

1985
Included in exhibition, Pop art 1955-70, organised by International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, travelled to Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide  

1987
Makes Painting with light film for the BBC on Quantel computer graphics ‘Paintbox’

1988
Included in exhibition, Richard Hamilton and Tom Phillips: a question of style, Australian National Gallery (now National Gallery of Australia), Canberra

1989
Completes Diab computer, exhibited at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm Included in Biennial of São-Paulo, Brazil

1990
Included The readymade boomerang: certain relations in 20th century art, Sydney Biennale, Australia

1991
Delivers the William Townsend Memorial Lecture at University College, London, entitled The hard copy problem Included in exhibitions, Pop art, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Carnegie international, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

1992
Travelling solo exhibition, Richard Hamilton, originating at Tate Gallery, London

1993
Included in Venice biennale, Italy

1996
Solo exhibition, Site referential paintings, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California

1997
Included in Seven Rooms and Typosophic Pavillion, Documenta 10, Kassel, Germany

1998
Solo exhibition, Subject to an impression, Kunsthalle, Bremen, Germany

1999
Included in exhibition, Circa 1968, Museu de Serralves, Porto, Portugal; travelling solo exhibition, New technology and printmaking, originating at Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin

2002
Solo exhibition, Richard Hamilton drückgraphic und multiples 1939-2002, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; included in exhibition, Richard Hamilton/Dieter Roth: Collaborations, relations, confrontations, Museu de Serralves, Porto, Portugal

2005
Included in travelling exhibition, Self portraits: Renaissance to contemporary, originating National Portrait Gallery, London, travelled to Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia Richard Hamilton currently lives and works in Oxfordshire, England

2011
Richard Hamilton died in September

Barbara Delano © Tyler Graphics Ltd., revised Kate Buckingham, 2006
This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated April 2014