In 1954 artists Nigel Henderson and Eduardo Paolozzi formed a creative partnership under the company name of Hammer Prints Ltd. Over the course of the next seven years the two artists established a commercial venture, collaboratively designing patterns and working with industry specialists to produce wall papers, fabrics, ceramic tiles, furniture and tableware using their designs. Based on original research, this exhibition will chart the history of Hammer Prints within the context of their broader artistic output and other collaborations such as the exhibitions, Parallel of Life and Art (Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1953) and This is Tomorrow (Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1956).
A comprehensive display of original Hammer Prints articles will be supplemented by hitherto unseen working material such as source imagery, sketches, screens, test sheets and other ephemera. Documentation of the designs in domestic interiors and Henderson's own photography of the artists at the studio will also feature in the exhibition. A key subject area is the artists' approach to adapting their individual fine art practices to an applied art collaboration; the drawings, photographs and collages that can be seen to have influenced the development of their designs and their self-described 'attack' on craft through silk-screen media.
Nine Hammer Prints patterns went into production, often printed in several colourways; these designs were manufactured as wallpaper by Cole & Son and textiles by Hull Traders.