Damien Hirst - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session New York Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Jay Jopling Fine Art, London
    Regen Projects, Los Angeles
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1993

  • Literature

    Damien Hirst, I Want To Spend The Rest Of My Life Everywhere, With Everyone, One To One, Always, Forever, Now, London 1997, p. 234 (illustrated)
    Jason Beard and Millicent Wilner, eds., Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings, 1986-2011, London 2013, p. 28 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    An immaculate grid of vibrant individual dots, Adenylosuccinate Lyase from 1992 is a stellar example of Damien Hirst’s iconic Spot Paintings. Having been in the same distinguished private collection since a year following its creation in 1993, the present lot is an exceptional piece from one of Hirst’s most celebrated series, one which questions three of the most essential qualities of painting – color, form and composition – and relates them to the building blocks of science. Titled after a chemical compound, this work confronts the viewer in a mass of glossy vibrancy, each component of which stands in stark contrast to the white, rectangular canvas on which it rests. In colors ranging from dark hues to saturated neons to soft pastels, the spots interact with each other in unique visual combinations, just as the individual components of chemical compounds, no two the same, can create an infinite possibility of arrangements. Hirst acknowledged the series’ scientific parallels when he said, "the spot paintings could be what art looks like viewed through an imaginary microscope" (Damien Hirst, I Want To Spend The Rest Of My Life Everywhere, With Everyone, One To One, Always, Forever, Now, London, 1997, p.246).

    Minimalist in presence yet poignant in effect, Hirst’s repetitive forms in the present lot negate the spontaneity of expressionist painting in favor of the sensibility of Pop Artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol through careful, methodical gesture. But unlike these artists, who used the dot as a means to produce an image, Hirst mass produces the dot itself, paring down his composition to painting’s most basic form.

  • 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.

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Adenylosuccinate Lyase

titled "ADENYLOSUCCINATE LYASE" on the stretcher
household gloss on canvas
44 x 84 in. (111.8 x 213.4 cm.)
Executed in 1992.

$600,000 - 800,000 

Sold for $855,000

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session

New York Auction 15 November 2017