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


Born in London, England

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

Works in display department of Reinmann Studios School, London

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

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

Studies engineering draftsmanship at Government Training Centre

Works as jig and tool draftsman

Studies at Slade School of Fine Art, London

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

Teaches at Central School of Arts and Crafts, London

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

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

Teaches at Royal College of Art, London

Receives William and Norma Copley Foundation Award for painting

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

Travels to United States of America

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

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

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

Collaborates with James Scott on film Richard Hamilton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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’

Makes first self-portraits with Polaroid camera

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

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

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

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  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Included in Venice biennale, Italy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 January 2017