Richard Hamilton "Lobby", 1984
07 Mar. 2003 - 01 June 2003 MACBA
Richard Hamilton (London, 1922–2011) has gone down in history as one of the founders of Pop Art. His collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing (1956) – featured on the promotional poster and catalogue for the exhibition This Is Tomorrow at London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery – is considered to be a milestone in the birth of this movement, because it carries its iconographical essences: the consumer society, popular culture and everyday life unabashedly penetrate the artistic universe. But Richard Hamilton’s career goes much further, and the exhibition organised at MACBA in collaboration with the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, set out to demonstrate that this is so. It assembled a selection of 180 works produced between 1938 and 2002 – drawings, paintings, collages, objects and installations – arranged according to generic categories: portraits, interiors, landscapes, floral motifs and historical paintings. The idea was to take into account Hamilton’s constant process of reinterpretation throughout his career of the genres, techniques and history of painting. Hamilton’s work dramatises the polarities that exist between figuration and abstraction; between art, design, and advertising; between high and low culture; between aesthetic innovation and political commitment.