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Collotype and screenprint on Ivorex paper. Signed by the artist and numbered 55/96 lower right in pencil.
Made from a collage, this print shows the deconstructed interior of a room. Three photographs from different rooms are lined up so the ceiling line matches. From left to right, there is a sofa, a ladder leaned against the wall, an open door, the bare cord of a light fixture hanging from the ceiling, and a lightbulb hanging. Over these photographs are collaged brightly colored squares of blue and orange, and, cut from a postcard, a picture of Gerrit Rietveld’s Rood Blauwe Stoel (Red/Blue Chair) of 1918. On the wall hangs a Joseph Beuys painting of three black circles. The same chair appears in his print Instant Painting, 1980. On the coffee table rests a bottle of Beefeater Gin and two bottles of Schweppes tonic.
According to Etienne Lullin: ‘Gin and tonic is Richard Hamilton’s favourite drink … In addition, gin and tonic was also part of the almost ritual handing over of the print’s proof: after the whole edition had been printed and signed, Hamilton would mix gin and tonics, light up a cigar and then ceremoniously hand over the printer’s proof(s).’
Hamilton, famed for his collages, utilized clippings from magazines and postcards, and later, took his own reference photos of interiors, including those found in this print. On his treatment of interior scenes, Hamilton wrote: “In bringing together works that could reasonably be labelled ‘Interior’ I found that art was as often the subject as that they were about rooms. I happened to use part of a colour supplement feature for Interior I … Its complement Interior II also contains references to art, including a patch of blue to signify an Yves Klein monochrome, a trick which recurs in Interior with monochromes … Any interior is a set of anachronisms, a museum, with the lingering residues of decorative styles that an inhabited space collects. Banal or beautiful, exquisite or sordid, each says a lot about its owner and something about humanity in general. They can be dreary or warm and touching, on occasion, inspiring; all tell a story and the narrative can be enthralling; some even give us a little lesson in art appreciation.
This print is in the collections of Tate, London.
Slight wear on lower right corner as photographed.