534
534
Damien Hirst
ALDOSTERONE 18, 21-DIACETATE-3-(0-CARBOXYMETHYL)OXIME:BSA
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 1,580,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
534
Damien Hirst
ALDOSTERONE 18, 21-DIACETATE-3-(0-CARBOXYMETHYL)OXIME:BSA
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 1,580,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York

Damien Hirst
B. 1965
ALDOSTERONE 18, 21-DIACETATE-3-(0-CARBOXYMETHYL)OXIME:BSA
titled on the stretcher 
household gloss on canvas
84 by 92 in. 213.4 by 233.7 cm.
Executed in 1992.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Jay Jopling Fine Art, London
Private Collection, Germany
Christie's, New York, 17 May 2001, Lot 323
Private Collection (acquired from the above sale)
Christie's, London, 16 October 2014, Lot 62
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

Literature

Damien Hirst, I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now, London 1997, p. 235, illustrated in color
Jason Beard and Millicent Wilner, Eds., Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings, 1986-2011, London 2013, no. 37, p. 82, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

“Art doesn’t purport to have all the answers; the drug companies do. Hence the title of the series, The Pharmaceutical Paintings, and the individual titles of the paintings themselves… Art is like medicine, it can heal.”
Damien Hirst, I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, London, 1997, p. 246

Poetically variegated across a colossal expanse of individual chromatic circles, the cellular kaleidoscopic field of Aldosterone 18, 21-Diacetate-3-(0-Carboxymethyl)oxime:BSA (1992) is a majestic example of Hirst’s most renowned series of work: the ‘Pharmaceutical paintings. The present work constitutes one of the earliest of Hirst’s ‘Spot’ paintings—the overarching series to which the Pharmaceutical paintings belong—thereby not only belonging to a seminal series within the artist’s oeuvre, but also embodying a historical representation of such. The contrast in this work between the organizational composition of 132 regularly spaced 4-inch spots and the uniquely colored dots on the brilliant white surface provides the viewer with a stimulating visual experience, one that is truly representative of the project that embodies Hirst’s highly influential artistic practice.

As one of the thirteen sub-series within the Spot painting category, the Pharmaceutical paintings remains the first and most prolific. Each Spot painting shares a certain set of properties: the spots are arranged on a grid made invisible by a white or off-white background; no two spots on a given work touch each other; and no hue is ever repeated on the same work. First conceived alongside the Medicine Cabinets, this body of work is imbued with the same measured rational order and pleasing formal cogency as his pharmacy store vitrines. “I started them as an endless series,” explains Hirst, “a scientific approach to painting in a similar way to the drug companies’ scientific approach to life” (Damien Hirst, I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, London, 1997, p. 246). Furthering this conversation between his paintings and the medical practice, Hirst concocted the title of this particular artwork from an alphabetical listing of drug names cited in the Sigma-Aldrich chemical company catalogue that he first encountered in the early 1990s. Hence, the Pharmaceutical paintings as well as the spots themselves can be read as signifiers for individual pills.

The Spot paintings were originally conceived as an endless series of paintings in which the choice of size, variation of color and number of spots on each painting were systematically infinite. Like a true scientist, Hirst expertly mixed hundreds of tones and shades of each color in the spectrum in a controlled experiment. Organized only by the structure of the circular colored discs evenly spaced on the white background in a grid-like formation, Hirst worked through his experimentations with color and scale in a highly logical manner. His canvases range from Iodomethane- 13c (1999-2000), a 40-foot canvas containing 1 inch spots, to L-Isoleucinol (2008-2011), which measures 10 by 16 inches and contains 25,781 one millimeter spots. No one color seems to be privileged over another, and thus no hierarchy is implied. This even-handedness, where color relationships are coolly, carefully balanced, puts forward a draughtsman-like rigor to the canvas. Hirst has stated that “Mathematically, with the spot paintings, I probably discovered the most fundamentally important thing in any kind of art. Which is the harmony of where color can exist on its own, interacting with other colors in a perfect format” (Damien Hirst cited in Damien Hirst and Gordon Burn, On the Way to Work, 2001, p. 120).

With its perfectly oriented spots, the present work is a captivating experience for the viewer—even delicious and candy-like—as per Hirst’s intent. However, there is a certain problematization that comes to light in this painting, namely inherent in the implied celebration of a heavily mediated and medicated postmodern experience. Such discourse has become even more so magnified in recent years as evidenced by the ongoing opioid and pharmaceutical drug crises. That Hirst’s Pharmaceutical paintings would only increase in cultural relevance in the nearly three decades since their inception is a testament not only to the prescient nature of their creator, but also to the importance of Aldosterone 18, 21-Diacetate-3-(0-Carboxymethyl)oxime:BSA in particular. Ever in touch with allusions and theoretical discourse, Hirst rescues the age-old artistic genre of the grid from Modernist hands and returns it back to its original roots in scientific thought and genetic structure. In this way, the work’s apparent simplicity of form is counterbalanced by its complexity of content, so that this painting, while relying to a certain degree purely on its visual appeal, also possesses an arresting intellectual punch characteristic of Damien Hirst’s process.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York