Richard Hamilton Dies

September 14, 2011 by staff 

Richard Hamilton DiesRichard Hamilton Dies, British Pop Art pioneer Richard Hamilton, representing Tony Blair as a cowboy and has designed an album cover of the Beatles, has died. He was 89.

Gagosian Gallery, who represents Hamilton, said the artist died early Tuesday at an undisclosed location in Britain. He gave the cause of death.

The gallery said that with his death, “the art world has lost one of its key figures.” He said Hamilton’s influence on young artists was “immeasurable”.

Hamilton was often called the “Father of Pop Art” – Britain’s answer to Andy Warhol – and is credited with coining the name of a movement characterized by the use of ironic and iconic images and pop culture business.

Born in London in 1922, Hamilton studied at the Royal Academy Schools and the Slade School of Fine Art, and became famous in the 50′s with “What is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?” A collage showing a physically idealized n*de couple – the man with a red lollipop labeled “Pop” – in a house strewn product, which was a seminal work of pop art.

For half a century, Hamilton produced images that were on strike and often political, Mick Jagger in handcuffs after a drug bust portraits of the demonstrators in Northern Ireland prison to an image of former British Prime Minister Blair as a leader cowboy in a 2007 article entitled “Shock and Awe”.

One of his best known works is the antithesis of the cacophony of pop art colors: the black and white cover of the Beatles “White Album”, a simple white box embossed with the name of the band. Hamilton also designed the collage-style poster that came with the album.

In an interview last year with The Guardian newspaper, Hamilton said he was “surprised at how little” you paid for the deck, only 200 pounds.

“I thought it was a little mean,” he said.

Hamilton also worked for decades in a gigantic project to illustrate the novel by James Joyce, “Ulysses.”

He told The Guardian that recognition had come because “I have outlived all my friends.” But others saw it as an important artistic figure.

Tate director Nicholas Serota, said Hamilton was “one of the most influential and distinctive artists of the postwar era.”

“Much admired by his colleagues, including (Andy) Warhol and Beuys (Joseph), Hamilton made a series of exquisite paintings, drawings, prints and multiple address issues of Glamour, consumption, raw material and popular culture,” said Serota .

Hamilton’s work has been shown worldwide, with pieces of the most important collections including the Metropolitan in New York and the Museum of Modern Art and Tate Britain.

Gagosian Gallery, said that until a few days ago, Hamilton had been working on a major retrospective that will travel to Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London and Madrid in 2013-14.

He is survived by his wife, Rita Donagh, and son Rod. Funeral details were not immediately available.

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