Richard Hamilton ‘Father of Pop’ dies aged 89

Richard Hamilton died last week (13 September 2011) aged 89. He was one of the most influential British artists of the 20th Century and regarded as a pioneer in the field of Pop Art.

Born in London in 1922, Hamilton trained as an engineering draftsman, and studied at The Royal Academy, only to be expelled. He went on to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, leaving in 1951. In 1952, along with Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull, he founded the Independent Group at the ICA, a collective of writers, architects and artists, and they went on to develop English Pop Art.

His best known work was a collage that he produced in 1956; Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? Investigating the imagery of Popular Culture, it featured a body builder and a tin of ham, and it earned him the title, ‘Father of Pop’. He also designed the cover of The Beatles’ White Album – the only design not to include pictures of the 4 band members.

Throughout his working life Hamilton continued to reinvent himself and he enjoyed several major retrospective exhibitions. He was recently working on a new retrospective due to tour to the US and Europe in 2013.