Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.
—Philip Larkin, excerpt from “High Windows”
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Damien Hirst. Opening concurrently at Gagosian in Beverly Hills and Davies Street, London, Damien Hirst: Superstition is the artist’s first exhibition in Los Angeles in over a decade. In these works, 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.
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 exhibition, Hirst creates 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 are awe-inspiring.
Each painting in Damien Hirst: Superstition has two titles, the first taken from the poems in Philip Larkin’s collection High Windows. Larkin was an English poet whose fatalistic, colloquial writings speak to a seemingly shared extinguished faith. The second title makes direct reference to religious iconography. A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by noted Larkin scholars John Banville and Richard Bradford will accompany the exhibition.
In the Studio: Damien Hirst’s Veil Paintings
Damien Hirst speaks about his Veil paintings with Gagosian’s Alison McDonald. “I wanted to make paintings that were a celebration,” he says, “and that revealed something and obscured something at the same time.”
Damien Hirst: Visual Candy
James Fox considers the origins of Damien Hirst’s Visual Candy paintings on the occasion of a recent exhibition of these early works in Hong Kong.
Damien Hirst: Colour Space Paintings
Blake Gopnik examines the artist’s “dot” paintings in relation to the history of representation in Western art, in which dabs of paint have served as fundamental units of depiction and markers of objective truth.
The River Café Cookbook
London’s River Café, a culinary mecca perched on a bend in the River Thames, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2018. To celebrate this milestone and the publication of her cookbook River Café London, cofounder Ruth Rogers sat down with Derek Blasberg to discuss the famed restaurant’s allure.
Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt
Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.
Extended through August 10, 2018
Colour Space Paintings
May 4–August 10, 2018
555 West 24th Street, New York
The Veil Paintings
March 1–April 14, 2018
Extended through March 3, 2018
Visual Candy and Natural History
November 23, 2017–March 3, 2018
The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011
January 12–February 10, 2012