Richard Hamilton

Four Self Portraits - 05.3.81 (1990)

About this artwork

Richard Hamilton was a key figure in the British and international Pop Art movements, as well as being one of its main theoreticians. The majority of his work is concerned with the art historical traditions in contemporary art. ‘Four Self-Portraits 05.3.81’ takes portraiture as its starting point, using new media to expand its boundaries. Instead of limiting the portrait to a single image, Hamilton uses four. In the early 1980s, the artist took Polaroids of himself and added layers of acrylic colour. After ten years, he digitally converted the photos into transparencies to be made into enlarged prints. Mounted on canvas, they epitomize the layered way in which Hamilton’s works deal with artistic media.

  • title: Four Self Portraits - 05.3.81
  • accession number: AR00141
  • artist: Richard HamiltonEnglish (1922 - 2011)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Self-portrait
  • date created: 1990
  • measurements: 75.50 x 75.40 x 3.20 cm
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © Estate of Richard Hamilton. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Richard Hamilton

Richard Hamilton

Hamilton was born in London. During the 1950s he was an influential figure in the move away from Abstract Expressionism towards a more intellectual, conceptual type of work. His early preoccupation with consumer culture and the imagery of advertising makes him one of the forerunners of Pop Art. He was much indebted to Marcel Duchamp, introducing wit, irony and dislocation into his work, and avoiding a particular style. It could even be said that style was the subject of his work. He used photography, painting, installation and printmaking, often in combination, and always in a questioning, critical way.