Damien Hirst - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 12, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Serpentine Gallery, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    Created originally for a benefit held in conjunction with a celebration of Serpentine Gallery's 30 year anniversary, the present lot is a remarkable and unique work by Damien Hirst. The artist's "spot" paintings are considered among his most semantically rich creations:

    "[The works] summerize and coagulate the symbology of colours - a synthesis of chromatology in the history of humanity and its universality - from religion to psychoanalysis, from alchemy to industrial marketing. Moreover they verify the unstable territory positioned between the artist's intention and the interpretation of the viewer. The geometric arrangement and the formal alignment of the dots in space construct a landscape, extended toward the strategy of serialize and reiteration of visual information in contemporary life and dynamically prolonged toward the surrounding reality." (M. Codognato, Warning Labels, taken from M. Codognato, Damien Hirst, Museo Archelogico Nazionale Napoli, Naples, 2005, p.41)

    Hirst could be argued as heir-apparent to the Pop legacy of Andy Warhol; both men excel as self-promoters and frequently take as stock-in-trade the re-interpretation of banal elements of popular culture. Warhol himself used an iconic economy car as part of his artwork when he utilized the image of a Volkswagen Beetle in a series of paintings and silkscreens beginning in the 1960s. Repeated in varying sahdes of pink, aqua and yellow, the VW "Bug's" cultural status was futher burnished through its inclusion within Warhol's indelible menagerie of images. Hirst's initial intention that the vehicle comprising the present lot be driven around London, rather than exhibited in a gallery, is especially revealing on this point; the Mini, inarguably a cultural touchstone in its own right, has become both a canvas and a promotional medium for his art. It would seem that Warhol would approve.

  • 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

A unique work by Damien Hirst, this acclaimed artist has transformed the Mini, a British design classic, into an extraordinary work of art. The Mini was created specially by Damien Hirst in aid of the Serpentine Gallery's 30th Anniversary and the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group. Part of the proceeds fromt his sale will be donated to these two organizations.


Untitled (Spot Mini)

Automotive paint on Mini Cooper.
52 3/4 x 70 x 120 in. (133.9 x 177.8 x 304.8 cm).

£400,000 - 600,000 ≠♠†

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm