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Gagosian Gallery launches worldwide exhibition of 25 years of spot paintings by Damien Hirst

January 12, 2012 by Kay

I was always a colourist, I’ve always had a phenomenal love of colour… I mean, I just move colour around on its own. So that’s where the spot paintings came from–to create that structure to do those colours, and do nothing. I suddenly got what I wanted. It was just a way of pinning down the joy of colour.

–Damien Hirst

DAMIEN HIRST Morphine Sulphate , 1993 Household gloss on canvas
57 x 87 inches  (144.8 x 221 cm)

The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011 - Damien Hirst

The exhibition will take place at once across all of Gagosian Gallery’s eleven locations in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Athens, Geneva, and Hong Kong, opening worldwide on January 12, 2012. Most of the paintings are being lent by private individuals and public institutions, more than 150 different lenders from twenty countries. 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 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.

In conjunction with the exhibition will be the publication of The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011, a fully illustrated, comprehensive and definitive catalogue of all spot paintings made by Hirst from 1986 to the present. Published by Gagosian Gallery and Other Criteria, The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011 includes essays by Museum of Modern Art curator Ann Temkin, cultural critic Michael Bracewell, and art historian Robert Pincus-Witten as well as a conversation between Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari.

The third issue of the Gagosian App for iPad will also launch January, providing an interactive, in-depth look at the series that features more than ninety spot paintings.

“Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011” precedes the first major museum retrospective of Hirst’s work opening at Tate Modern in London in April, 2012.

DAMIEN HIRST Levorphanol , 1995 Household gloss on canvas
27 x 27 inches  (68.6 x 68.6 cm)