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Trichromatic Flower-piece, 1973–74.
Plate 16.75 x 13 in. / 42.5 x 33 cm
Paper 25.5 x 19.7 in. / 65 x 50 cm
Color etching, aquatint, drypoint, and engraving on Rives paper
Titled lower left in pencil, signed lower right and labeled “trial proof”. Edition 150 + 15 artist’s proofs. Printed by the artist and Aldo Crommelynck, Atelier Crommelynck, Paris. Co-published by Petersburg Press, London and Atelier Crommelynck, Paris.
According to Gesine Tosin, Richard Hamilton irritated contemporary critics in the 1970s with a series of works — romantic images of flowers, still lifes and landscapes, interspersed with scatological motifs. “Once exhibited, the critics regarded the paintings as evidence either of a kinky sexual aberration or an early onset of senility.” (Hamilton 1982, p.79. ) Trichromatic flower-piece is one of these works, which questioned the categories of high and low art through its appropriated imagery. In the words of Richard Hamilton: “The Shit and Flowers series was was inspired in a sense by Barcelona, walking on the Ramblas where thousands of postcards are displayed. (…) I bought three pictures of flowers. I took them back to Cadaqués and began to play about with them, at first by putting a little paint on the surface.”
According to Andrew Kim Tyler: “Working at Atelier Crommelynck, Paris in 1973-4, Hamilton used a traditional still life subject, a bouquet of flowers, to pursue his interest in the combination of photographic images with planes of color and hand-drawn aspects, but subverting the image with addition of a large turd. Perversely he set out to produce by manual means an etching with the characteristics of a commercially made reproduction resulting in Trichromatic flower-piece.”
In addition to the edition of Trichromatic Flower-piece, Hamilton printed the progressive proofs in Yellow, Magenta, Yellow/Magenta, Cyan, Yellow/Magenta/Cyan, Black, and Yellow/Magenta/Cyan/Black as Flower-piece Progressives in an edition of 24.
A copy of this print is in the collection of the Tate, London, LACMA, Los Angeles, and Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut
Condition: Crease running from left edge 2” from lower edge halfway across the print (9”). Soft 2” crease diagonal across lower left corner, two .5” vertical dimples lower left above title. 1” horizontal crease lower middle edge. 5 ½-1” dimples lower right. Faint 7” crease along upper edge with 2.5” crease. 2.5” horizontal crease left upper edge. 4” soft horizontal crease upper middle. Creased upper right corner. ½” archival tape upper left and right corners of verso.