In the early 1970s Hamilton received a postcard from the artist Dorothy Iannone (b. 1933) showing the lobby of the Hotel Europa, Berlin. Fascinated by the perspectival tricks produced by the mirrored columns and geometrically patterned carpet, Hamilton made a collaged watercolor (1974–75) after the postcard, which in turn became the basis for this print nearly ten years later. As the artist said, the lobby’s rather banal, modern decoration and strange emptiness reminded him of the setting for Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist drama Huis Clos (No Exit; 1944), which takes place in a hotel’s public space, “a metaphor for purgatory, the limbo in which we await transit to another condition.”
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Signed (L.L.): R Hamilton 56/88;; (L.R.) WG (pressed into paper)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Richard Hamilton: Selected Prints from the Collection, 1970–2005," December 16, 2009–May 2, 2010, no catalogue.
Artist:Richard Hamilton (British, London 1922–2011 Oxfordshire) Date:1968Medium:Etching, aquatint, photoetching, and collage, embossed and die stamped with metallic foilAccession:1999.314On view in:Not on view