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Collotype and screenprint on Ivorex paper. Signed and numbered 49/90 by the artist lower left in pencil.
This striking composition seamlessly merges two Gerrit Rietveld chairs into a colorful background of squares and rectangles, placed to suggest the corner of an interior occupied by the Dutch Modern chairs. De Stijl, meaning style in Dutch, was a publication founded in 1916 by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. De Stijl would become the name of a circle of Dutch artists, including architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld, working in strict geometric abstraction, which was first referred to in Mondrian’s journal as neoplasticism. Hamilton chooses Mondrian’s iconic primary color palette, combining royal blue, red, bright yellow, black, and white, in this apt imagining of a Mondrian composition in three dimensions. Hamilton was as fluent in popular culture as was in the history of art and design: the name of this print is also a play on the 1957 Lonnie Donegan hit Putting on the Style.
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 collection of Tate, London; Arts Council Collection UK; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Excellent condition; upper left corner has slight wear as photographed.