Damien Hirst - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    The iconic motif of the butterfly presented in this Lot, first appeared in Hirst’s work in 1991. In the exhibition titled ‘In and Out of Love’ the artist famously filled a gallery with hundreds of live tropical butterflies, some of them spawned from chrysalises on monochrome canvasses hung from the wall. Hirst has long been obsessed with butterflies as a metaphor for life and death. In this painting, the stark contrast between the slick pouring of the paint and the delicate, irregular wings of the real butterflies, create a powerful illusion to the fragility and transience of life against the inevitability of death.

  • 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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Lavender Blue

Household gloss and butterflies on canvas.
213.3 x 213.3 cm. (84 x 84 in).

£700,000 - 900,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £769,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm