Richard Hamilton


One of the most interesting artistic styles that have emerged over time is undoubtedly pop art , a movement that was born as a reaction to abstract expressionism . A type of art that was closely related to English and American culture and also had great representatives worldwide. Without a doubt, Richard Hamilton was one of them mainly in Great Britain .


Personal information

  • When was he born: 02/24/1922
  • Where he was born: London, UK
  • When he died: 09/13/2011
  • Where he died: Northend, UK

Who was Richard Hamilton?

Richard Hamilton is considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century thanks to his incredible contributions to pop art and his striking urban style that mixed elements of production and mass culture .


Richard Hamilton Biography

Richard Hamilton was born on February 24, 1922 in the city of London . His love for art was reflected from his childhood and in his teens he began to attend art classes. Over time, he managed to enter to study at the Royal Academy School and it was there that he began to develop advertising work. He worked for several years as an industrial designer and then returned to art school, however, this time he would not stay long because due to his ideas, he was expelled for defying the guidelines of his teachers.


Later, Richard Hamilton went to study at the Slade School of Art located in London and in 1952, he founded a group that was in charge, together with him, of developing pop art more strongly in England . As time went by, the artist managed to show his work in various galleries and in 1956, he organized an exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery where he showed one of his most recognized works worldwide ” just what is it that makes today´s homes so Different, so appealing ? ”, a work that is at the same time considered the beginning of pop art in England.

Later he traveled to New York and there he began to use photography and painting together in his works of art. In 1980, he gradually took charge of being able to objectively analyze the different opportunities that digital media could offer him, and the effect that these had on different images and the arts.


He was 89 years old when Richard Hamilton passed away in 2011 in the city of London due to an illness that had affected him for many years. His exact cause of death to date is unknown.


He was married to a woman named Terry O’Reilly who tragically died in a car accident in 1962.


To date no son is known to Richard Hamilton.


His parents were Pan Long and Richard Hamilton , who did not live together. He lived next to his mother, however, he never lost contact with his father.

Richard Hamilton Characteristics

Richard Hamilton was considered a unique and special artist, and had a number of characteristics that gave him a unique style. Some of these peculiarities were the following:

  • He used different artistic means to express his ideas, for example collage , sculpture , painting and photography .
  • He was obsessed with getting everything new on the market.
  • His works were dense , formal, and spatial .
  • He was frequently inspired by Dadaism and Surrealism as well as some literary techniques.
  • He carried out through his critical works against consumer culture .
  • I was deeply concerned about the effect that television and media images had on people.
  • He had a great passion for everything related to technology .
  • He also gave great value to contemporary design and advertising in his works .


Richard Hamilton’s technique was based on all the principles of pop art . Also using the decontextualization of images and objects, he put into practice the conceptual stratagem of Dadaism while addressing the alienation of man. He used paint and oil to represent some of his works, he liked architectural design because he used many pure lines and he gave special importance to geometry.


In 1992, a lifetime trajectory was shown as a tribute at the Tate Gallery of London . The Ludwig Museum , in 2003 also presented a work program in his honor entitled “introspective” . The Max Beckmann Prize was awarded to him in 2007. After his death, the Reina Sofía Museum undertook to recognize the British artist by showing several works other than those he had been working on before he died. Approximately 270 works were collected, which were shown to the public as a way to publicize their work and passion.


Richard Hamilton succeeded in introducing the idea of ​​seeing the artist as a consumer and as a contributor to mass culture , separating art from commerce with his ideas in order to rescue and bridge the gap that existed between quality art and consumer culture. uncontrollable that was developing at the time. His work served as inspiration for many of the artists who follow in his footsteps. He was in charge of giving pop art an adequate definition as an artistic discipline, low-cost but glamorous at the same time. He is considered a key figure in the 20th century as he was able to understand the modern and postmodern world without being out of time.

Works by Richard Hamilton

Among the main works of Richard Hamilton are mentioned the following:

Picasso’s Meninas

A work with great precision and full of sense of humor . He made this work as an idea to pay homage to Picasso in which he used the etching technique . In the work it is observed that the mastiff that was stepped on by Nicolasito had transformed into a bull and the dwarf was now a harlequin. Infanta María is represented in many geometric styles and Velázquez was Picasso in which there was no longer a cross of Santiago but rather a hammer and sickle.

Fashion plate

A combination of techniques in which he also included engraving. A complex collage of photographs that she made based on a photograph of Sophia Loren , which she divided into different parts and silkscreened it on top, later retouched using various cosmetics . He used pop art for the creation of this work as well as elements of deliberate printing.

Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?

A work of art considered the most famous of the British artist. A pop art icon that defined the rise of the consumer society . A collage made of magazine clippings in which all the pieces have meaning and are located in place for a reason. The main part of the work is the naked people, a man with a seductive air and a woman located to the right of it. You can see a table, people, a lamp, a television and a poster, the moon on the ceiling and a window. A way the artist used to represent sexual identities and gender politics with a humorous visionwhere it implied that women, in the 50s, were seen as a sexual object.

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