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  • Provenance

    Haunch of Venison, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    London, Tate Modern, Damien Hirst, 4 April - 9 September 2012, p. 120 (illustrated)
    Doha, Qatar Museums Authority: ALRIWAQ, Relics, 10 October 2013 - 22 January 2014

  • Literature

    Jason Beard and Millicent Wilner, eds., Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011, London, 2013, p. 447 (illustrated) and p. 850 (listed)

  • Catalogue Essay

    A dedicated line of enquiry spanning approximately twenty five years, Hirst’s Spot Paintings are amongst the YBA group's most distinctive body of work. Typical of the series, Ergocalciferol sees a constellation of polychromatic circles scattered across the canvas, comprising an invisible grid of playful polka dots that allude to infinity. Offering a wealth of visual information, the unemotional multi-coloured arrangement is hypnotising in its detail and regimented repetition.

    Each assigned a medical title, Hirst paints a relationship between the artistic and the scientific, engaging in a theme that reoccurs across the artist’s oeuvre mortality. Equating the medical with the artistic, Hirst continues to remind the viewer of the significance of his creative output: ‘Art is like medicine--it can heal. Yet I've always been amazed at how many people believe in medicine but don't believe in art, without questioning either.’ (R. Violet, ed., I want to Spend the Rest of My Life Elsewhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now., London, 1997, p. 246).

    A celebrated series with a trade mark consistency, Hirst’s Spot Paintings came into fruition during his infamous years at Goldsmiths, London. In their infancy Spot Paintings consisted of circles one to four inches in diameter. During this time, the artist played a crucial role in the rise of the Young British Artist's, organising the inaugural exhibition Freeze in 1988. The most celebrated and notorious of the group, Hirst became synonymous with shock tactics, critically and controversially questioning the limits of conceptual art.

    The pulsating canvases of colour—ranging from dense fields of tiny dots to a few spare circles isolated against an expanse of white—call to mind Georges Seurat, Hans Hoffmann, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella and many more. Speaking to the Minimalist-conceptual continuum and Richter’s colour experimentations, Hirst’s Spot Paintings are entrenched in the history of Modernism. Furthermore parallels can also be drawn between Ergocalciferol and a nineteenth century Pointillist approach to painting.

    Few artists have such an enduring power to shock and invigorate the public debate surrounding contemporary art. Once again with his current ground-breaking Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable in Venice, the artist demonstrates his exceptional scope of exhaustive productivity. Hirst’s provocative and revolutionary output defines the British artist as a visionary craftsman of the twentieth first century.

  • 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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Property from an Important European Collection



signed, titled and dated 'Damien Hirst "Ergocalciferol" 2007' on the reverse; further signed and stamped with the artist's stamp 'D Hirst' on the stretcher; further stamped with the artist's stamp on the overlap
household gloss paint on canvas
99.1 x 129.5 cm (39 x 50 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2007.

£250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £437,000

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061 [email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 29 June 2017