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  • Motel II by Richard Hamilton

Motel II by Richard Hamilton

Petersburg Press

Etching and Aquatint


Edition Size: 40

Image Size: 10.9 x 13.7 inches

Sheet Size: 17.25 x 22.16 inches

Reference: Etienne Lullin: Richard Hamilton: Prints and Multiples 1939-2002, catalogue raisonné, Kunstmuseum, Winterthur, 2003, no 113 illustrated.


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

Soft ground etching, open and step bite aquatint, burnisher and scraper on Rives paper. Signed by the artist and numbered 10/40 lower right in pencil. One of numerous late-1970s interiors depicted by Hamilton in collages, photographs, and prints, this work is based on the same source postcard as Motel I.

Vignetted by a border in painterly, translucent grey, this moody motel room scene is drawn with velvety precision. Selective burnished areas glow paper white: a single bar of fluorescent light on the left side, and a bedside lamp casting a soft glow on the twin bed’s tufted bedboard.

Hamilton, famed for his collages, utilized clippings from magazines and postcards (as seen in this print), and later, took his own reference photos of interiors. 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, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

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The Artist

Richard Hamilton

Richard Hamilton is a painter and collage artist who was born in London in 1922 and studied at the Royal Academy School from 1938 to 1940. He returned to the Royal Academy School in 1946 after having left to study engineering draughtsmanship at a Government Training Centre, however he was expelled on grounds of “not profiting from the instruction” and subsequently enrolled at the Slade School of Art from 1948 to 1951.

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