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Richard Hamilton: Modern Moral Matters

Exhibition preview

TO START its 40th anniversary year, the Serpentine Gallery is presenting Richard Hamilton: Modern Moral Matters, a solo exhibition by one of the world’s most respected living artists.

The first major exhibition of Hamilton’s work in London since 1992, it will be on display from March 3 to April 25, 2010.

Hamilton has embraced many different mediums since the 1950s, including painting, printmaking, installation and industrial design. The exhibition will reassess the nature of this British artist’s pioneering contribution, taking as a starting point the artist’s political works.

The installations, prints and paintings in this exhibition take global politics, riots, terrorist acts and war as their subject matter, examining how these conflicts are now largely mediated by the media, often via television or the internet. From the ironic Swingeing London 67 to the requiem-like Kent State and his more recent portrait paintings, Hamilton has continued to capture the media’s hunger for images, while also transforming these images into a more permanent form.

Hamilton has seen great changes in communication technologies throughout his working life. In 1969, he noted that: “In the Fifties we became more aware of the possibility of seeing the whole world, at once, through the great visual matrix that surrounds us, a synthetic ‘instant’ view. Cinema, television, magazines, newspapers flooded the artist with a total landscape.”

Through its fragmentation of images, manipulation of space and reference to different styles and genres, Hamilton’s work interrogates the representations that surround us. Yet his analysis of the image is counterbalanced by an underlying, allegoric lyricism, through which he reinvigorates the genres of portraiture and history painting.

Hamilton’s oeuvre has evolved throughout his long and influential career, particularly in his approach to processes and techniques. The exhibition will explore in depth his use of multiples, and the varied ways the artist has used photographic material to investigate representation in contemporary society.

The exhibition is curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, and Sophie O’Brien, Exhibition Curator, Serpentine Gallery.

Admission: Free.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm.

Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA.

Design Real is currently on display at the Serpentine Gallery.
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