Golden Oldies: Highlights from Art Basel 2013
EA 4/15, artist's proof outside the edition of 90. Signed in pencil lower right: R. Hamilton, as well as titled lower left: Picasso's meninas. Image 57 x 49 cm on Rives wove paper 75.5 x 57 cm. Published by Propyläen Verlag, Berlin and Pantheon Press, Rome. Printed by Crommelynck, Paris.
From the 69-part portfolio "Hommage à Picasso".Provenance:- Purchased directly from the publisher.- By descent to the present owner, since then private collection Switzerland.Catalogue raisonné: Lullin, no. 91. “Las Meninas” by Diego Velázquez from 1656 is without doubt one of the most important paintings in the history of art. Between August and November 1957 Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) examined the work intensively and Richard Hamilton (1922 – 2011) after his first visit to the Prado in 1972 was so powerfully affected by the painting, that he used it as the framework for his print in honour of Picasso. He copied the spatial arrangement and position of the staffage exactly but replaced the royal family with figures from all the periods of Picasso’s oeuvre. He presented Picasso’s artistic mastery as on a stage: On the right edge of the picture we find a harlequin from the pink period, who appears to be treading on a bull from Picasso’s masterpiece “Guernica”. Behind the bull to the right we have a seated woman, modelled after “Femmes assises” of 1927 (Zervos, vol. 7, Nr. 7); to her right is a figure typical of the late 1930s. In the next row there is a woman, who is reminiscent of Picasso’s Neo-Classical style of the early 1920s and next to her a figure of an archaic style, which we know from “Les demoiselles d’Avignon” (Zervos, vol. 2, Nr. 18). In the centre of the picture is an Analytic-Cubist figure, who again turns to a woman from the Neo-Classical period. Pablo Picasso himself takes up the central position of Velázquez before the easel. In the mirror on the back wall, where in the original painting the royal couple can be seen, we see reflected Richard Hamilton and his partner. Even the painting on the back wall has been replaced by Picasso’s paintings: “Nu couché et femme assise” from 1942 (Zervos, vol. 12, Nr. 69) and “Three Musicians” from 1921 (Zervos, vol. 4, Nr. 331). There is probably no other work in art history which brings together the achievement and uniqueness of an artist so impressively, and without any doubt expresses the admiration and recognition of his unique body of work. That Pablo Picasso was the most important and most influential artist of the 20th century, is, according to this impressive homage, beyond all question. --Courtesy of Koller
Catalogue raisonné: Lullin, no. 91.
.Provenance:Purchased directly from the publisher.By descent to the present owner, since then private collection Switzerland.
In his celebrated collages, Richard Hamilton explored the relationship between fine art, product design, and popular culture, setting the stage for Pop art. His most iconic work, Just What Is it that Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? (1956)—a scene comprised of images cut from magazines ads, showing a semi-nude couple in their living space—was produced for the groundbreaking exhibition “This is Tomorrow,” organized by the Independent Group at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London in 1956. Throughout his career, Hamilton continued to break down hierarchies of artistic value, making silkscreens of Mick Jagger’s drug arrest, producing studies of industrial design objects (like toasters), and designing the cover of the Beatles’ 1968 White Album.
British, 1922-2011, London, United Kingdom