EDINBURGH.- Richard Hamilton is one of the great artists of our time, whose originality continues to influence younger generations through a career which spans over fifty years. The paintings, collages and installation in Protest Pictures have been selected by the artist for Inverleith House and this is the first exhibition to examine Hamilton's exacting portrayal of political actions, movements and figures which have shaped our lives.
In the 1960s Hamilton parodied the then leader of the Labour Government (Hugh Gaitskell) for rejecting a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament and in the 1980s he began a trilogy of paintings based upon the conflicts in Northern Ireland; The citizen (1982-3), The subject (1988-9) and The state (1993) will be shown alongside works from the collection of the artist and his wife, the painter Rita Donagh, for the first time.
Hamilton's earliest artistic influences were the Victorian natural scientist D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson (who was born very close to the Royal Botanic Garden) and the artist Marcel Duchamp. A member of the Independent Group, Hamilton (b. 1922) became a founder of the British Pop Art movement and an influential teacher - most notably in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 1993 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale where he was awarded the Golden Lion.