Richard Hamilton was a painter and collagist whose early works are considered the first examples of Pop art. Hamilton first studied at Saint Martin's School of Art before World War II, and later at the Royal Academy and the Slade School of Art. In the early 1950s he began exhibiting at London’s new Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), where he also took part in the inaugural meeting of the Independent Group. After seeing the proto-Pop art “Bunk” collage series (1947–52) by Eduardo Paolozzi, Hamilton began to produce promotional pieces for the Group; none more influential Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? (1956), a poster he designed for the exhibition This Is Tomorrow at the Whitechapel Gallery (1956). This collage is widely considered as the beginning of the Pop art movement.
Hamilton’s work was featured in major exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London (1970; 1992), Documenta, Kassel (1968), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1973), and the Bienal de São Paulo (1989). A major posthumous retrospective was organized by the Tate Modern, London, in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Central National Art Museum of Queen Sofia), Madrid (2014).