Produced in 2007 in conjunction with the exhibition Damien Hirst: Superstition at Gagosian Gallery, London and Beverly Hills, Hirst expands on the iconic motif of the butterfly as a symbol of the beauty and inherent fragility of life, reaching new heights of complexity, refined detail and radiance.
Throughout his work over the last twenty-five years, Hirst has taken a direct and challenging approach to ideas about existence. His work provokes a critical dialogue by calling into question our awareness and convictions about the boundaries that separate desire and fear, life and death, reason and faith, love and hate. In his art, Hirst uses the tools and iconography of science and religion, creating sculptures and paintings whose beauty and intensity offer the viewer insight into art that transcends our familiar understanding of those domains.
In this series, Hirst created paintings whose classical shapes and compositions take their inspiration from stained glass church windows. From the soaring gothic arch in Aubade – Crown of Glory to the intricate form of the rose window in Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel – Conception, the works all portray an ornate, fractal geometry and perfect, mathematical symmetry that is awe-inspiring.
Born in Bristol, England in 1965, Hirst is best known for his paintings, medicine cabinet sculptures and glass tank installations. For the most part, his paintings have taken on two styles. One is an arrangement of color spots with titles that refer to pharmaceutical chemicals, known as Spot paintings. The second, his Spin paintings, are created by centrifugal force, when Hirst places his canvases on a spinner, and pours the paint as they spin. In the medicine cabinet pieces Hirst redefines sculpture with his arrangements of various drugs, surgical tools, and medical supplies. His tank pieces, which contain dead animals, that are preserved in formaldehyde, are another kind of sculpture and directly address the inevitable mortality of all living beings. All of Hirst’s works contain his ironic wit, and question art’s role in contemporary culture.
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