Extended through April 16, 2022
Gagosian is pleased to present Forgiving and Forgetting, an exhibition of sculptures and new paintings by Damien Hirst that have never before been shown in the United States. The presentation also marks the artist’s first exhibition in New York since the 2018 solo show Colour Space Paintings.
Forgiving and Forgetting includes works from Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, a project that presents sculptural relics from a fictional shipwreck off the coast of East Africa, playing fast and loose with linear time, cultural origin, and perceptions of relative status and value. Foregrounding these sculptures against an intricately woven tale of seafaring exploits, marine excavation, and laborious research, Hirst aims to invoke feelings of wonder at their meticulous physical and conceptual fabrication.
The series debuted in 2017 with a suite of Treasures—ranging from pastiches of ancient and classical busts, masks, and statues to representations of iconic Disney cartoon characters—rendered in an extraordinary array of materials, many encrusted with colorful blooms of skillfully painted barnacles, as if salvaged from the ocean floor. Forgiving and Forgetting marks an ambitious phase in Hirst’s body of work; the sculptures are carved out of pink Portuguese marble and white Carrara marble, immortalizing each figure in one of the most storied materials in Western art history.
From the playful wave of a coral-laden Minnie Mouse to the intricately encrusted visage of a jauntily posed Goofy, each subject in its monochrome marble assumes the same gravitas, sparking unexpected interactions between ancient materials and modern forms. As in much of the artist’s practice, Hirst’s Treasures exemplify the idea of mythmaking that lies at the core of culture, both high and low.
Forgiving and Forgetting also reveals works from Hirst’s latest series, the Reverence Paintings. Originally seeking to reimagine the vibrant Cherry Blossoms in allover white, the artist began to overlay shifting dabs of color and flecks of gold leaf across the otherwise monochrome canvases, allowing them to take on a vivid and shimmering dynamism. Covered with bright impasto dots that add both perspectival grounding and visual haze to each composition, the Reverence Paintings underscore Hirst’s acute sense of color, expanding upon the expressionistic and pointillist impulses that have inspired his recent bodies of work.
Truth Revealed: Damien Hirst and James Fox on Ashley Bickerton
In conversation with James Fox, Damien Hirst reflects on the artwork of his longtime friend.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2021
The Fall 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Damien Hirst’s Reclining Woman (2011) on its cover.
For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.
Sydney Stutterheim meditates on the power and possibilities of small-format artworks throughout time.
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.
Emergency Paintings, Danger Paintings, Hazard Pictures and Seizures
October 5, 2021–February 5, 2022
Britannia Street, London