Richard Hamilton was born in 1922 in London. He attended Westminster Technical College during the day and St. Martin’s School of Art during the evening. He then studied painting at the Royal Academy Schools from 1938 to 1940, and from 1941 to 1945 he worked as a draughtsman. From 1948 to 1951 he studied painting at the Slade School of Art. His etchings from this period were shown in his first solo exhibition at Gimpel Fils in 1950.
In 1952, Hamilton began teaching silver work, typography and industrial design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where one of his colleagues was Eduardo Paolozzi. Hamilton and Paolozzi were founding members of the Independent Group, a group of artists and intellectuals who met to advocate a media-based aesthetic perspective on modernism. Hamilton began lecturing regularly at the Fine Arts Department of the King’s College in the University of Durham in 1953. By 1955, he was exhibiting his Cubist-inspired paintings at the Hanover Gallery in London. He made his first Pop collage in 1956 entitled Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, which is widely recognized as one of the first pieces of Pop Art. Hamilton’s written description defining ‘pop art’ laid the groundwork for the influential international movement. His paintings, works on paper, and prints have consistently challenged conventions, and he has influenced generations of artists with his richly diverse visual experiments.
In 1960 Hamilton was awarded the William and Norma Copley Foundation Prize for Painting and he also published a typographical version of Marcel Duchamp’s, “Green Box”. Hamilton visited the United States for the first time in 1963. In 1970 he was awarded the Talins Prize International in Amsterdam and in 1979 he was given his first retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery. His works have been collected and exhibited by major museums throughout the world.