The world’s premier auctions
 
 
WELCOME TO INVALUABLE
Be the first to know about
the latest online auctions.
Please enter a valid email address (name@host.com)
Sign Up »
PS: We value your privacy
Thank you!
 
 
Want to learn more
about online auctions?
Take a Quick Tour »
WE'VE CHANGED OUR NAME
is now
 
To celebrate, we’ve enhanced our site with
larger images and browsing by category to help
you easily find what you’re passionate about.
Remember to update your bookmarks.
Get Started »
 
Invaluable cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate and disclaims any responsibility for inaccurate translations.
Show translation options

Lot 88: Damien Hirst (B. 1965)

Post War and Contemporary Evening Sale

by Christie's

May 9, 2006

New York, NY, USA

Damien Hirst (1965) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

Sold
Looking for the realized and estimated price?

Description: Benzhydrol
household gloss on canvas
47 1/4 x 70 7/8 in. (120 x 180 cm.)
Painted in 1996.

Notes: Damien Hirst's Spot paintings form a constant in the artist's production to date. Widely considered to be his first mature works because it was these painting that he chose to exhibit at the groundbreaking Freeze show that he curated in 1988, Hirst continues to produce them periodically. In the Spot paintings, Hirst creates works that attempt to systematize and isolate the precise nature of this contradiction for all to see. "I started them as an endless series like a sculptural idea of a painter (myself). A scientific approach to painting in a similar way to the drug companies' scientific approach to life.In the spot paintings the grid-like structure creates the beginning of a system. On each painting no two colours are the same. This ends the system; it's a simple system" (Damien Hirst, I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always forever now, Booth-Clibbon, 1997, p. 246).

As this is Hirst, one cannot help but speculate on the role of pharmaceuticals in the production of this projected happiness. Indeed, Hirst seems to declare as much in the quotation above: No matter how he is actually feeling, he can take some colorful pills inside of him, get a buzz, and see the world anew. Hirst's Spot paintings are all produced under the more general title of The Pharmaceutical Paintings and each carries the title of a different drug or chemical used in the pharmaceutical production. Benzhydrol, for example, is used in the manufacture of anti-histamines like Benadryl. (It is also used in various herbicides.)

Taking this to mind, one realizes that there is a tragic contradiction at the heart of the Spot paintings. Like Hirst, one is instantly happy looking at these colorful spots. But if you linger and look at Benzhydrol long enough, that happiness dissolves into an empty whiteness of death and meaningless. If one looks deeper and deeper into the atomic structure of matter, one arrives at the quarks inside of the nucleus only to realize that there is nothing but empty space there. Hirst's Spot paintings are essentially about this emptiness. Beyond life and death, Benzhydrol is about what isn't.

Provenance: White Cube, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Artist or Maker: Damien Hirst (B. 1965)

Title
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
 
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
 
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)