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  • 'By the time I made Toaster the habit of working a print simultaneously with a painting was well established. The print on the toaster theme is less a version than a natural corollary of it. My interest in the process, aesthetic or technical, had led me to make a series of studies and reliefs which echoed, through an analogy in painters’ terms, the design and construction of a building…the text is an important part of this work not only for its visual quality (conjunctions of word and image are fundamental to the manner of presentation in the field depicted) but in the way it provides information and tunes the aesthetic response as the only explicitness of words can do.'
    —Richard Hamilton
    Toaster marks a shift in Hamilton’s artistic trajectory as the first of several prints utilising different methods of production. Offset lithography, screenprint and metallised polyester collage combine to illustrate the mundane household appliance.

     

    In true Hamilton fashion, the artist arrived at the concept for Toaster by appropriating imagery found in advertising and magazines. Relying on his background in design – teaching at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and designing for Encounter Magazine and Churchill Gear Machines, Blandon on Tyne, between  1953 and 1956 -  objects became a preoccupation for Hamilton, forming a crucial facet in subject and composition.

     

    Using the same typeset as the original manufacturers, Hamilton humorously simulated advertising jargon, replacing the toaster’s Braun factory logo with his own name, and adapting the accompanying text below. Hamilton said the toaster was ‘included among the most attractive objects for everyday use, exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art – the only automatic toaster in the world to achieve this honour.’ This level of satire can be traced back to the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp, where utilitarian objects were methodologically reconfigured to ‘act’ as artworks. Toaster similarly underpins the tendencies of post-modernity, matching text with image to question the canons of traditional artistic production. 

    • Literature

      Etienne Lullin 63

112

Toaster (L. 63)

1967
Offset lithograph and screenprint in colours with metallized polyester collage, on T. H. Saunders paper, with full margins.
I. 79 x 58.3 cm (31 1/8 x 22 7/8 in.) including text
S. 88.6 x 63.5 cm (34 7/8 x 25 in.)

Signed and numbered 'Artists proof 6/7' in pencil in the image (the edition was 75), published by the artist, framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £12,600

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14 - 15 June 2021