NEW YORK—Art lovers around the world have been anticipating this moment—the worldwide retrospective of Damien Hirst‘s spot paintings. Yesterday, the exhibition of the complete collection of more than 300 canvases created over a period of 25 years opened at the Gagosian Gallery‘s 11 locations, including three in New York.
“Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011” features the first work the artist painted in 1986—a spot on board, and the final canvas completed last year with nearly 26,000 spots. (Hirst no longer actually paints the spots himself; His assistants do. All of the paintings were created with Household glass on canvas.)
While simple in concept, the paintings are quite striking when displayed together, spots large and small in a spacious white-walled gallery, or in a narrow galley-style room where eight round canvases were hung at the West 24th Street location. Most of the paintings are executed with the spots lined up in a precise grid pattern; Others vary. The spots on one of the round canvases were tightly spaced in a swirl pattern similar to a pinwheel.
While New Yorkers flocked to the evening opening, those both curious and serious about art did the same at Gagosian Galleries in Beverly Hills, London (two locations), Paris, Rome, Athens, Geneva and Hong Kong.
According to the gallery, Hirst says he was always a colorist, that he loves color and the spot paintings “create that structure to do those colors…It was just a way of pinning down the joy of color.”
The exhibits are on view from Jan. 12 to Feb. 18, 2012.
Photos by Arts Observer