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Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London

Damien Hirst
B. 1965
BEAUTIFUL LATE SPIN PAINTING
signed on the stretcher; signed, titled and dated 2008/09 on the reverse
household gloss on canvas
152.4 by 152.4 cm. 60 by 60 in.
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Provenance

Private Collection (a gift from the artist)
Christie's, London, 7 October 2016, Lot 238
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Exuding a heady effervescence of psychedelic effect, Beautiful Late Spin Painting is an explosive and vibrant example of Damien Hirst’s iconic Spin Paintings. A riot of colour radiates from the epicentre of the present work; as though accelerating in a vortex, streaks of hot pink, luminous yellow, red and violet dominate the composition. Driven by a desire to develop a populist approach to painting, Hirst cited Blue Peter – a UK children’s television programme that he watched as a nine-year-old in his home city of Leeds – as the inspiration for the Spin Paintings. Expanding on his interest in this series, Hirst adds “I really like making them. And I really like the machine, and I really like the movement. Every time they're finished, I'm desperate to do another one" (Damien Hirst cited in: Damien Hirst and Gordon Burn, On the Way to Work, London 2001, p. 221). Instantly redolent of Warhol's paint-by-numbers works, Hirst preserves a childlike sense of wonder in his practice; indeed, as the present work attests, the Spin Paintings embody the euphoric ecstasy of child-like exploration.

The first Spin Paintings were produced on rectangular canvases in the artist’s Brixton studio in 1992 and he playfully first introduced them to the public in 1993 when Hirst and Angus Fairhurst hosted a ‘Spin Art’ stall at a street fair in London. Dressed as clowns, as per the request of performance artist Leigh Bowery, Hirst and Fairhurst invited members of the public to create their own Spin Paintings. One year later, Hirst commissioned a scaled-up version of the same machine and started work on this now iconic series of paintings. By pouring a succession of different hues of household emulsion paint onto a rapidly rotating canvas, Hirst creates variegated surfaces of gravity-informed colour that bespeak the centrifugal energy of their execution. Emptied over the canvas in a manner akin to Jackson Pollock as captured in the iconic photographs by Hans Namuth, Hirst’s application of paint combined with the mechanical spin of the surface is undeniably performative in its vigour. This kinetic energy is recorded in the final painting, the movement of which, according the Hirst, “sort of implies life” (Ibid). Created in 2008-09 as a later iteration of this iconic series, the present work brilliantly encapsulates Hirst’s tongue-in-cheek attitude to art historical tradition through its method of production.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
London