The story, as Richard Hamilton told it years later, begins with something of an insult. Upon viewing Hamilton's 1955 exhibition Man, Machine, and Motion, Victor Pasmore, the Constructivist sculptor and Hamilton's then-colleague at King's College in Newcast le, delivered a snide quasi-compliment, dismissing the iconographical content (and main attraction) of the project only to praise the mere apparatus of exhibiting—the bracket and framing system that Hamilton had invented to exhibit his imposing photographic enlargements of men and their technical prostheses. “It would have been very good,” Pasmore is purport-ed to have said, “if it hadn't been for all those photographs.”2 But clearly the exhibition intrigued Pasmore, who would approach Hamilton later in the hope of collaborating with the younger artist. Hamilton recalls:

Remembering his comment on Man, Machine and Motion I proposed that we might make a show which would be its own justification: no theme, no subject, not a display of things or ideas—pure abstract exhibition.3

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