Skip to main content Start of main content
Exhibition Histories

Exhibition, Design, Participation: ‘an Exhibit’ 1957 and Related Projects

The latest title in the Exhibition Histories series revisits ‘an Exhibit’, a radical project that emerged from a decade of testing the possibilities of exhibition-making.

Contributors: Elena Crippa, Lucy Steeds, Lawrence Alloway,  Leif Sjöberg, Dorothy Morland, Owen Hatherley, Martin Beck.

ISBN (paperback)



  • Introduction: Exhibition, Design, Participation— Lucy Steeds
  • Designing Exhibitions, Exhibiting Participation— Elena Crippa
  • Richard Hamilton, Victor Pasmore and Lawrence Alloway, ‘an Exhibit’, 1957
  • Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne



  • ‘an Exhibit’ fold-out poster/catalogue
  • Institute of Contemporary Arts, London



Invitation card



  • Related projects involving Alloway, Hamilton and Pasmore

Mural relief, Kingston bus depot canteen, 1950 The Waterfall, 1951
‘Growth and Form’, 1951
Exhibitions at 22 Fitzroy Street, 1952–53

‘Man, Machine and Motion’, 1955
Model for Enrico Fermi memorial museum, 1955–56 ‘This is Tomorrow’, 1956
‘Exhibit 2’, 1959
‘Place’, 1959
The Apollo Pavilion and Peterlee, 1954–69

  • ‘an Exhibit’, Reviewed— David Sylvester, 1957
  • The Spectator’s Intervention— Lawrence Alloway, 1955
  • Interviews

— Questions to Victor Pasmore by Leif Sjöberg, 1960

— Richard Hamilton in conversation with Dorothy Morland, c.1976–78

  • Our Friends in the North— Owen Hatherley
  • Revisiting the Form of ‘an Exhibit’— Martin Beck
  • ‘an Exhibit’, Re-exhibited, Re-worked
  • Authors’ biographies
  • Selected bibliography
  • Picture credits
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index


Exhibition, Design, Participation: ‘an Exhibit’ 1957 and Related Projects

With a main essay by Elena Crippa, additional texts by Lawrence Alloway, Martin Beck, Owen Hatherley and David Sylvester, an introduction by Lucy Steeds and interviews with Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton.

The radical project ‘an Exhibit’ emerged from a decade of testing the formats and possibilities of exhibition-making. A collaboration between two artists, Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore, and critic Lawrence Alloway, the show was simultaneously an investigation into abstract environmental forms and a participatory experiment that would fundamentally transform the role of the viewer.

Comprehensive documentation of the original exhibition is presented alongside coverage of other key projects from the era and contextualised through the detailed analysis of Elena Crippa. Archival texts conveying the different voices of ‘an Exhibit’s three creators and an essay from the time by David Sylvester are accompanied by new contributions by Martin Beck, Owen Hatherley and Lucy Steeds. This book addresses the diverse legacies of ‘an Exhibit’– from its reverberations in contemporary art practice to its influence on urban design and social housing.

The Exhibition Histories series investigates exhibitions that have shaped the way contemporary art is experienced, made and discussed.


Published by Afterall Books in association with the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, 2016. Distributed by Koenig Books, and ARTBOOK | D.A.P

The title is available to purchase here.