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Hapshash and the Coloured Coat Michael English and Nigel Waymouth

1967 London, United Kingdom

1 Works exhibited

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  • About the Artist
  • Bibliography

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat was an influential British graphic design and avant-garde musical partnership in the late 1960s, consisting of Michael English and Nigel Waymouth. It produced popular psychedelic posters, and two albums of underground music.

The silkscreen printed posters created by the pair advertised underground "happenings", clubs and concerts in London, and became so popular at the time that they helped launch the commercial sale of posters as art, initially in fashionable stores such as the Indica Bookshop and Carnaby Street boutiques. Their first album of psychedelic music, produced by a collective in early 1967 and including many famous names, is now seen as being influential on the early works of Amon Düül and other pioneers of German Krautrock, as well as inspiring sections of the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request album.

Their posters remain highly sought after. The original artwork for a poster advertising Jimi Hendrix's 1967 concert at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco – depicting the guitarist as a psychedelic Native American chief with a hunting bow in one hand and a peace pipe in the other – was sold in 2008 by Bonhams for $72,000. Between October 2000 and January 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum, which owns the originals of many of their posters in its permanent collection, mounted a retrospective exhibition of their work titled "Cosmic Visions–Psychedelic Posters from the 1960s".

The posters they designed for the UFO Club and Oz magazine drew on elements of Mucha, Ernst, Magritte, Bosch, Blake, and Dulac, pulling them together in a style that art critic George Melly called "Nouveau Art Nouveau" and Time was beginning to call "Nouveau Frisco". They also designed posters for the Middle Earth club, Pink Floyd (who were the resident band at the UFO), The 5th Dimension, The Move, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Soft Machine, and the Incredible String Band.

While other designers at the time opted for "indiscriminate use of rainbows and any clashing colour combination, [Hapshash] strived for maximum colour effect without sacrificing balance or harmony", and frequently used expensive gold and silver metallic inks, which previously were rarely seen on advertising posters. They also introduced a new technique to screen-printing which allowed them to "graduate from one colour to another on a single separation".

Their work has been cited as an inspiration by surrealistic artist Mark Wilkinson, known for his designs for bands such as Marillion, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden.

 

 

Works by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat Michael English and Nigel Waymouth

Order by

UFO

1967

100 x 70 cm

915,00 €

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