Damien Hirst Snubs UK Gagosian Opening

London exhibition eye-candy but where is the maestro?

Damien Hirst  has chosen New York over London as his location of choice for the opening of his international exhibition, The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011. The events at the Gagosian Gallery’s eleven locations in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Athens, Geneva, and Hong Kong today are one of the most talked about commercial exhibitions of 2012.

The Gallery’s much anticipated international show is showcasing several works on loan from private individuals and public institutions, with more than 150 lenders from twenty countries. More than 300 paintings, from his first spot on board created in 1986; to the smallest spot painting comprising half a spot and measuring 1 x 1/2 inch (1996); to a monumental work comprising only four spots, each 60 inches in diameter; and up to the most recent spot painting completed in 2011 containing 25,781 spots that are each 1 millimeter in diameter, with no single color ever repeated. I was always a colorist, I’ve always had a phenomenal love of color… I mean, I just move color around on its own. So that’s where the spot paintings came from—to create that structure to do those colors, and do nothing. I suddenly got what I wanted. It was just a way of pinning down the joy of colour” stated; Hirst

In an interview with Reuters, Hirst claimed that “every single spot painting contains my eye, my hand and my heart. I imagine you will want to say that if I don’t actually paint them myself then how can my hand be there? “But I controlled every aspect of them coming into being and much more than just designing them or even ordering them over the phone. And my hand is evidence in the paintings everywhere. “I think it’s important that they are handmade but equally important that they look machine-made. I’ve never had a problem with using assistants.”

Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London from 1986 to 1989 and is considered by many to be the leading figure of the group known as “Young British Artists”. The YBAs are characterized by their entrepreneurial spirit, independence and their ability to manipulate the media.Hirst dominated the art scene in Britain during the 1990s. His early career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, however over the last few years Hirst has distanced himself from this association. Hirst’s work explores the uncertainty at the core of human experience; love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal. His work has been exhibited widely,in Britain, the USA, Australia, and Europe. Work is included in many public and private collections.

He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995
Tate Modern have announced the first substantial survey of the work of Damien Hirst which will run from 5 April – 9 September 2012. This is hardly a retrospective, given Hirst’s age. It will instead cover in-depth two decades of the artist’s output. The exhibition will highlight works including many of his most iconic pieces such as, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991 (the shark) and his Spot and Spin paintings. The exhibition is sponsored by the Qatar Museums Authority and takes place during the period of the Olympics. I leave it up to you to leave your opinion at the bottom in the comments section.

In many respects this is a logical business move for Damien as the US is still the art market leader, with China in second place and the UK not far behind in third. Gagosian is an international gallery rooted in the US, AHHH now it all makes sence. 

Read Review of Hirst Exhibition London

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