Damien Hirst - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Sunday, November 8, 2015 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1996

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I tell you what it is, I really like making [The Spin Paintings]. And I really like the machine, and I really like the movement. The movement sort of implies life.” Damien Hirst, 2001

    Captivating in the frenetic energy that courses throughout the picture plane, Beautiful, Dangerous, Electrified, Bad Temper Painting is a visual testament to the artist’s profound enthusiasm for his materials and the spontaneity intrinsic to the process of painting. Galvanized by momentum and color, our eyes dart from hue to hue in the present lot, we resolutely attempt to trace Hirst’s motions as he adds layer after layer of pigment to a spinning canvas. Hirst’s obsession with death often dominates his production while the Spin paintings present compelling examples of the artist’s impressions of life, technology, and the sublime qualities of picture-making born of their feverish inception.

    Hirst conceptualized and initiated the Spin series in 1994 while living in Berlin, shortly after acquiring a spin machine which facilitated the circular movement of large canvases. Though each work in the Spin series is archetypal in its composition, the works are further united by their protracted titles, which start with "Beautiful" and end in "painting." The present lot is an early Spin series, in which Hirst submerges the canvas in thick layers of lacquer that ebb and flow both in a circular gesture and linear direction. The richly saturated pink center of the work, encircled by a highly contrasting dark tonality, suggests the pupil of an eye, as if the painting were at once looking out onto the world and reflecting its chaotic and ecstatic spirit in color. Of the Spin paintings, Hirst has pondered, “I really like making them. And I really like the machine, and I really like the movement. Every time they’re finished, I’m desperate to do another one.” (Damien Hirst and Gordon Burn, On the Way to Work, Faber and Faber, 2001)

    For an artist renowned for his onerous approach to production, as in the spot paintings and his formaldehyde-submerged beasts, the chance factor that is inherent to pouring paint on a spinning machine lends a sense of elegance in the stark futility of production, manifested in Beautiful, Dangerous, Electrified, Bad Temper Painting.

  • Artist Biography

    Damien Hirst

    British • 1965

    There is no other contemporary artist as maverick to the art market as Damien Hirst. Foremost among the Young British Artists (YBAs), a group of provocative artists who graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in the late 1980s, Hirst ascended to stardom by making objects that shocked and appalled, and that possessed conceptual depth in both profound and prankish ways.

    Regarded as Britain's most notorious living artist, Hirst has studded human skulls in diamonds and submerged sharks, sheep and other dead animals in custom vitrines of formaldehyde. In tandem with Cheyenne Westphal, now Chairman of Phillips, Hirst controversially staged an entire exhibition directly for auction with 2008's "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever," which collectively totalled £111 million ($198 million).

    Hirst remains genre-defying and creates everything from sculpture, prints, works on paper and paintings to installation and objects. Another of his most celebrated series, the 'Pill Cabinets' present rows of intricate pills, cast individually in metal, plaster and resin, in sterilized glass and steel containers; Phillips New York showed the largest of these pieces ever exhibited in the United States, The Void, 2000, in May 2017.

    View More Works

Property from a Private Collection, Chicago


Beautiful, Dangerous, Electrified, Bad Temper Painting

household gloss on canvas
diameter 82 5/8 in. (210 cm)

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $485,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 8 November 2015 7pm