British artist Damien Hirst's best known works are his paintings, medicine cabinet sculptures, and glass tank installations. For the most part, his paintings have taken on two styles. One is an arrangement of color spots with titles that refer to pharmaceutical chemicals, known as Spot paintings. The second, his Spin paintings, are created by centrifugal force, when Hirst places his canvases on a spinner, and pours the paint as they spin.
Hirst's first spot paintings were made for the exhibition Freeze, which he organized in an empty warehouse in the London Docklands district, while he was a student at Goldsmiths College in 1988. Twenty years later, Hirst has produced more than 500 such paintings on canvas.
The exhibition The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011 by Damien Hirst will take place simultaneously at all Gagosian Gallery's 11 locations in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Athens, Geneva and Hong Kong, opening worldwide on January 12, 2012. Conceived as a single exhibition in multiple locations, The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011 makes use of this demographic fact to determine the content of each exhibition according to locality.
Included in the exhibition are more than 300 paintings, from the first spot on board that Hirst created in 1986; to the smallest spot painting comprising half a spot and measuring 1x1/2 inch; to a monumental work comprising only four spots; and up to the most recent spot painting completed in 2011 containing 25,781 spots that are each i millimeter in diameter, with no single color ever repeated.
In conjunction with the exhibition will be the publication of The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011, a fully illustrated catalogue of all spot paintings made by Hirst from 1986 to the present.
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 color. ~~ Damien Hirst