Hers is a Lush Situation Richard Hamilton

Collotype, screenprint and collaged metalized foil Estate of Richard Hamilton Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

These two works demonstrate Hamilton’s tendency of producing several versions of a particular image; slightly altering it and experimenting with various materials and techniques The ‘original’ image these two works are based on is painting Hamilton first produced in 1952. He revisited and remade the image on several occasions throughout his career; the two works included in Heavy Metal Parking Lot were produced decades apart; in 1958 and 1982. Hamilton titled this work after a review of a Buick in 'Industrial Design' magazine from the 1950s which ended with the line, "The driver sits at the dead calm centre of all this motion; hers is a lush situation".

In this image Hamilton explored the 'rhetoric of persuasion' written into car design, advertising and marketing, particularly the erotic play of idea and image between girls and machines. The synthesis of imagery and thematic motifs - Sophia Loren's collaged lips (a reference to the 'her' of the title), the United Nations building in New York (which, collaged, doubles as a windscreen) and the machine forms - inspired by Marcel Duchamp's 'Green Box'. As Hal Foster writes in his recent biography of this artist: For Hamilton, paintings and products, art and design, were complements, not opposites, and he liked to fold them together in his work. Although Hamilton admiringly mimicked the ‘presentation techniques’ of design stylists in images such as Hers is a Lush Situation (1958) in which elements of Cadillac advertisement fuse with painterly allusions to female anatomy, a key resource was (Marcel) Duchamp’s more sinister vision of woman/machine conflations on the Large Glass.