Definitions

appealing

Just What Is It that Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?

Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? is a collage by Richard Hamilton. It measures × . The work is now in the collection of the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tubingen, Germany. It was the first work of pop art to achieve iconic status.

History

Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? was created in 1956 for the This Is Tomorrow exhibition in London, England. In addition to inclusion in the show, the piece was used in posters for the exhibit, and a monochrome version was included in the exhibition catalogue.

Richard Hamilton has subsequently created several works in which he reworked the subject and composition of the Pop art poster collage, including a 1992 version featuring a female bodybuilder.

Many artists have created derivative works of Hamilton's collage. P. C. Helm made a year 2000 interpretation.

Authorship

In 2006, artist John McHale's son, John McHale Jr., said that his father claimed he was the creator of the image, having provided the original measured design and iconic material for the collage, including the magazines from which much of the collage was assembled. McHale said that the source material was his, sent to Hamilton from Yale University, where McHale was studying, and that Hamilton's role was simply "mechanical" cutting out and pasting according to McHale's design.

In response, Hamilton said this was "absurd. The collage has been widely reproduced over the last fifty years and my authorship was never, to my knowledge, contested by John McHale Sr. when he was alive." Hamilton said that McHale provided him with a rough layout for six pages for the This is Tomorrow exhibition catalogue, but he only used two of them, and the other pages, including this collage, were created by himself; the American magazines that provided the images were from the collection of Magda and Frank Cordell, and the images were cut out by Hamilton's wife, Terry O'Reilly, and Magda Cordell.

Magda Cordell has said that "some of the material for that collage came from John McHale's files", while other items came from American magazines brought back by her, and that the piece was "put together" by Hamilton.

Notes and references

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