Industrial paint on canvas
Collection of the artist
On display from 2005 to 2010
Hirst’s Spot Paintings were a series begun in 1988 on the occasion of the Freeze exhibition in London. These canvasses have coloured spots set out at regular intervals in accordance with variable terms such as the format of the canvas or the size and colour of the spots. It is these spots which are the undisputed subject of these paintings, which the artist has created as perfect grids in which he can play about as he pleases. Seurat’s pointillism was based on the use of pure colour, but its purpose was the reconstruction of figurative images in the viewer’s retina. The Spot paintings, roughly a century later, make the coloured spots the main subject of the paintings but no images must be recomposed in them. There is no manual work by Hirst himself: after the Freeze frescoes and five other canvasses in which the smears and compass marks were obvious, Hirst left production of his works entirely to his assistants. As in his medicine cupboards, in which the sole criterion was the arrangement of forms and colours, in the Spot Paintings Hirst mocks the world of science by use of an aesthetic presentation which asserts itself by playing with the ambiguity of others’ contents.
Hirst would wish this series to be infinite and able to continue even after his death. This is a concept of art which does not free itself solely of the moment of creation but of the very existence of its creator: eternity is conferred upon the idea, not upon the individual work.
In a way I quite like that, bringing it right back round again. [...] In a way, they are clichés. But clichés are only clichés because they’re ...
[ continues ]