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Hardcover | Out of Print | 176 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 51 b&w illus. | January 2010 | ISBN: 9780262013819
Paperback | $22.95 Trade | £18.95 | 176 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 51 b&w illus. | January 2010 | ISBN: 9780262513722
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Richard Hamilton

Edited by Hal Foster


Still little-known in the United States, Richard Hamilton is a key figure in twentieth-century art. An original member of the legendary Independent Group in London in the 1950s, Hamilton organized or participated in groundbreaking exhibitions associated with the group--in particular This Is Tomorrow (1956), for which his celebrated collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, crystallizing the postwar world of consumer capitalism, was made. With his colleagues in the Independent Group, Hamilton promoted the artistic investigation of popular culture, undertaking this analysis in paintings, prints, and texts, thus setting the stage for Pop art--indeed, he is often called the intellectual father of Pop. At the same time, Hamilton was crucial to the postwar reception of Marcel Duchamp, transcribing his notes for The Large Glass and producing a reconstruction of this epochal piece for the first Duchamp retrospective in Britain, in 1966. Over the years Hamilton has continued to develop his work, in a variety of media, on subjects ranging from the Rolling Stones to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, from new commodities and technologies to the oldest genres in Western painting. True to the mission of the October Files series, this volume collects the most telling essays on Hamilton (including several hard-to-find texts by the artist), spanning the entire range of his extraordinary career.

About the Editor

Hal Foster is Townsend Martin ‘17 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and the author of Prosthetic Gods (MIT Press) and other books.

Table of Contents

  • Richard Hamilton

  • Files
  • George Baker, Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Hal Foster, Denis Hollier, David Joselit, Rosalind Krauss, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Annette Michelson, Mignon Nixon, and Malcolm Turvey, editors
  • Richard Serra
  • ,
  • edited by Hal Foster with Gordon Hughes
  • Andy Warhol
  • ,
  • edited by Annette Michelson
  • Eva Hesse
  • ,
  • edited by Mignon Nixon
  • Robert Rauschenberg
  • ,
  • edited by Branden W. Joseph
  • James Coleman
  • ,
  • edited by George Baker
  • Cindy Sherman
  • ,
  • edited by Johanna Burton
  • Roy Lichtenstein
  • ,
  • edited by Graham Bader
  • Gabriel Orozco
  • ,
  • edited by Yve-Alain Bois
  • Gerhard Richter
  • ,
  • edited by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh
  • Richard Hamilton
  • ,
  • edited by Hal Foster with Alex Bacon

  • Richard Hamilton
  • edited by Hal Foster with Alex Bacon
  • essays and interviews by Michael Craig-Martin, David Mellor, Greil Marcus, 
Hal Foster, Richard Hamilton, Stephen Bann, Mark Francis, Sarat Maharaj
  • Files 10
  • The MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • London, England
  • ©
  • 2010
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • MIT Press books may be purchased at special quantity discounts for business or sales promotional use. For information, please email, or write to Special Sales Department, The MIT Press, 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142.
  • This book was set in Bembo and Stone Sans by Graphic Composition, Inc. Printed and bound in the United States of America.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
  • Richard Hamilton / edited by Hal Foster with Alex Bacon ; essays and interviews by Michael Craig-Martin . . . [et al.].
  •    p. cm. — (October files ; 10)
  •   Includes bibliographical references and index.
  •   ISBN 978-0-262-01381-9 (hardcover : alk. paper)—ISBN 978-0-262-51372-2 (pbk. : alk. paper)
  •   1. Hamilton, Richard, 1922—Criticism and interpretation. I. Hamilton, Richard, 1922– II. Foster, Hal. III. Craig-Martin, Michael, 1941–
  •  N6797.H3R53 2010
  •  709.2—dc22
  • 2009024975
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • Contents
  • Series Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Michael Craig-Martin
  • Richard Hamilton in Conversation with Michael Craig-Martin (1990) 1
  • David Mellor
  • The Pleasures and Sorrows of Modernity: Vision, Space, and the Social Body in Richard Hamilton (1992) 15
  • Greil Marcus
  • The Vortex of Gracious Living (2007) 39
  • Hal Foster
  • Notes on the First Pop Age (2003) 45
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Urbane Image (1962–1982) 65
  • Stephen Bann
  • Exteriors/Landscapes (1990) 75
  • Richard Hamilton
  • An Inside View (1990) 87
  • Mark Francis
  • Richard Hamilton: Grand New Artificer 
(1988) 99
  • Sarat Maharaj
  • “A Liquid Elemental Scattering”: Marcel Duchamp and Richard Hamilton (1992) 111
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Products (2003) 131
  • Richard Hamilton
  • concept | technology > artwork (1989) 137
  • Hal Foster
  • Citizen Hamilton (2008) 145
  • Index of Names 161
  • Series Preface
  • OCTOBER Files addresses individual bodies of work of the postwar period that meet two criteria: they have altered our understanding of art in significant ways, and they have prompted a critical literature that is serious, sophisticated, and sustained. Each book thus traces not only the development of an important oeuvre but also the construction of the critical discourse inspired by it. This discourse is theoretical by its very nature, which is not to say that it imposes theory abstractly or arbitrarily. Rather, it draws out the specific ways in which significant art is theoretical in its own right, on its own terms and with its own implications. To this end we feature essays, many first published in
  • magazine, that elaborate different methods of criticism in order to elucidate different aspects of the art in question. The essays are often in dialog with one another as they do so, but they are also as sensitive as the art to political context and historical change. These “files,” then, are intended as primers in signal practices of art and criticism alike, and they are offered in resistance to the amnesiac and antitheoretical tendencies of our time.
  • The Editors of
  • Acknowledgments
  • Michael Craig-Martin’s interview with Richard Hamilton first appeared in
  • Talking Art 13
  • (London: ICA, 1993). David Mellor’s “The Pleasures and Sorrows of Modernity” was published in
  • Richard Hamilton
  • (London: Tate Gallery, 1992). Greil Marcus’s “The Vortex of Gracious Living” is a slightly altered version of “On Richard Hamilton’s
  • Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?
  • (1956),” published in
  • Pop Art Is
  • (London: Gagosian Gallery, 2007). Hal Foster’s “On the First Pop Age” appeared in
  • New Left Review
  • 19 (January–February 2003). Richard Hamilton’s “Urbane Image,” first published in
  • Living Arts
  • 2 (1963), was reprinted with slight additions and modifications in
  • Collected Words
  • (London: Thames & Hudson, 1982). Stephen Bann’s “Exteriors/Landscapes” appeared in Hamilton and Dieter Schwarz, eds.,
  • Exteriors, Interiors, Objects, People
  • (Dusseldorf: Kunstmuseum, Winterthur, 1990). Hamilton’s “An Inside View” also appeared in Hamilton and Schwarz, eds.,
  • Exteriors, Interiors, Objects, People
  • . Mark Francis’s “Richard Hamilton: Grand New Artificer” was published in
  • Richard Hamilton: Installations
  • (Edinburgh and Oxford: Fruitmarket Gallery and Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1988). Sarat Maharaj’s “‘A Liquid Elemental Scattering’: Marcel Duchamp and Richard Hamilton” is reprinted from
  • Richard Hamilton
  • (London: Tate Gallery, 1992). Hamilton’s “Products” appeared in the catalog for the gallery show of the same name (London: Gagosian Gallery, 2003). This volume also reprints Hamilton’s “Concept/Technology>Artwork,” which was originally published in
  • Richard Hamilton
  • (Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 1989). Foster’s “Citizen Hamilton: The Art of Richard Hamilton” appeared in
  • Artforum
  • 46, no. 10 (Summer 2008).

  • The editors wish to thank Richard Hamilton, Rita Donagh, Rod Hamilton, Mark Francis, and all the authors for their advice and assistance.
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