Damien Hirst - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | Phillips

Create your first list.

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

  • Provenance

    McCabe Fine Art

  • Literature

    D. Hirst, The Complete Spot Paintings 1986 - 2011, Other Criteria, 2013, p. 541 (illustrated in colour)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Begun in 1986, Hirst’s Spot Paintings have become an iconic symbol of contemporary art. 'I started them as an endless series, a scientific approach to painting in a similar way to the drug companies' scientific approach to life. Art doesn't purport to have all the answers; the drug companies do. Hence the title of the series, the Pharmaceutical Paintings, and the individual titles of the paintings themselves.' (D. Hirst, quoted in D. Hirst, I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now , London 1997, p. 246). In fact, works such as Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide are named after the pharmaceutical stimulants and narcotics listed in the book Biochemicals Organic Compounds for Research and Diagnostic Reagents published by the chemical company Sigma-Aldrich which Hirst came across in the 1990s. The very nature of this ever-growing project echoes the abundance of scientific research whose constant expansion is needed to further our knowledge on medicine. Furthermore, the orderly manner in which paint is applied in perfectly even circles suggests scientific taxonomy as well as a regulated sanitisation process where any colour contamination is prevented through careful separation.

    Hirst’s minimalist and mechanical approach to separating colours on the canvas can be perceived as working in antithesis to the exuberant spontaneity of Abstract Expressionism that preceded his artistic training. Nonetheless, his style brings to the fore shared concerns about the materiality of paintings – where the flatness of the picture plane and presence of the medium is emphasised through the negation of illusionary depth or legible subject matters. In another way however, Hirst creates parallels with Pop Art through his appropriation of the spot that is heavily associated with Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings. Hirst even mirrored the artist’s sentiments saying his aim was to make the series appear as though it was made by '...a person trying to paint like a machine.' (D. Hirst, R. Violette, "On Painting Dumb," Damien Hirst: I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, London, 2005, p. 251). Nonetheless, what distinguishes the two artists most obviously is that for Lichtenstein the spot became a means to translate the cartoon format onto a canvas, whereas for Hirst the spot became a means to contain colour and by doing so, forms the basis of an abstract exploration into opticality and colour amalgamation.

  • 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 the Estate of Dr. Fredric S. Brandt, Miami

Ο ◆17

Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide

household gloss on canvas
157.5 x 218.5 cm (62 x 86 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'Damien Hirst "Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide" 2008' on the reverse. Further signed along the stretcher and stamped and labelled by Science.

£300,000 - 500,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £362,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
[email protected]
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 14 October 2015 7pm