Five Tyres Remoulded (portfolio), 1971

Graphic material, 9 elements: 60 x 85 cm each

Graphic work played a prominent role throughout Richard Hamilton’s career. From the beginning, Hamilton was interested in printing and the impact of technology on the idea itself and on artistic production. The Five Tyres Remoulded  (portfolio) project must be seen in this context, which also includes another of the artist’s interests: the contradictions of space and its visual interpretations. In this case, he explores the visual development and perspective associated with the form of the car tyre.

The project was pursued at various times and resulted in two works: Five Tyres Abandoned (1964) and Five Tyres Remoulded (1971). From 1951, Hamilton made a series of perspective drawings that led him, in 1964, to the first version of the work: a screenprint made with six different coloured stencils. Although Hamilton’s initial idea had been to emboss the paper with a very sharp relief, he failed to solve the technical problems and had to wait a further ten years until he could cut a brass plate with a specialised lathe and make the impression using silicone elastomer. Discovering he could not realise what he had in mind, he abandoned the project, titling the work Five Tyres Abandoned. Six years later, in 1970, when the American dealer Carl Solway saw the work in his studio, he offered to look for a program that would resolve the perspective problems with the aid of a computer.

To accurately execute the Five Tyres study, patterns were needed in the double curve of a torus (a type of convex, semi-circular geometric figure that contains nodules or protuberances, and which corresponds to the physical form of a tyre), which could only be achieved with the help of a computer. Thanks to the efforts of Solway, Sherill Martin of Kaye Instruments solved the computer formulation of perspective using an existent program by Fortran called Caper (Computer Aided Perspective). The result was Five Tyres Remoulded, consisting of white paper onto which the profiles of five different tyres are embossed; seven screenprints of computer-generated drawings showing specific aspects of pneumatic geometry, such as radial sections, dimensions, circumference sections or depth of tread; and a screenprint with a text from the 1951 journal Technique and Architecture, documenting the successive development of tyres from 1902 to 1950.

Technical details

Original title:
Five Tyres Remoulded (portfolio)
Registration number:
Hamilton, Richard
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Graphic material
White silicone mould, screen print on paper and cardboard and printed ink on paper
9 elements: 60 x 85 cm each (height x width)
Edition number:
Ed. 25/150
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Fundación Repsol Collection
© Richard Hamilton, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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