Richard Hamilton - Evening & Day Editions London Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Richard Hamilton discovered the image of Patricia Knight from a promotional poster for Douglas Sirk’s 1948 noir film, Shockproof. At the time of the film’s release, it was common to create specially staged shots or ‘stills’, which were the equivalent of a trailer in print, indicating the plot of the film. In the Shockproof still, Patricia Knight, as murder-heroine, stares past the camera with a male corpse at her feet. A note in the dead man’s hand, the bookcase set into the wall behind her, the open desk drawer, and the telephone receiver off the hook, are all clues for the viewer to decipher.


    Nearly twenty years after first seeing the image, Hamilton was still fascinated by the scene, and so created three etchings with Patricia Knight as subject. Two of these he then explored further, creating unique hand-coloured variants. Hamilton stated his intent was for the etchings of Patricia Knight to be “ominous, provocative, ambiguous; a confrontation with which the spectator is familiar yet not at ease.” The foreboding, sinister nature of the Shockproof still permeates through Patricia Knight I, as a heavy curtain occupies a third of the image, making the spectator’s position illicit, almost a Peeping Tom to the scene.


    Shockproof, 1949 © Everett Collection / Alamy Stock Photo 
    Film still from Shockproof, 1949. Image: Everett Collection / Alamy Stock Photo
    • Literature

      Etienne Lullin 122


Patricia Knight I (Coloured) (L. 122)

Lift-ground aquatint, scraper and burnisher with unique hand-colouring in acrylic, on BFK Rives paper, with full margins.
I. 23.4 x 16.3 cm (9 1/4 x 6 3/8 in.)
S. 38 x 28.5 cm (14 7/8 x 11 1/4 in.)

Signed and numbered 8/12 in pencil (the edition was 12 unique variants and 2 unique artist's proofs), published by Waddington Graphics, London, framed.

Full Cataloguing

£12,000 - 18,000 ‡♠

Sold for £15,120

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022