Damien Hirst (b. 1966) Beautiful Axe , Slash,
Beautiful Axe , Slash, Gosh Painting.
Signed "D Hirst" on the reverse. Gloss household paint on canvas.
D: 36 in. (91.4 cm).
Executed in 1999.
White Cube, London
In a vast array of installation, sculpture, painting and photography, Damien Hirst has challenged audiences with animal dissections, snuffed-out cigarettes, pharmaceutical pills and butterflies. Among these, his spin paintings might seem surprisingly traditional. Even with their hyper colors and dynamic surfaces, these paintings retain vestiges of Abstract Expressionist canvases. At the same time, their enigmatic, humorous and often sexualized titles introduce unexpected imagery that seems to undermined the gentle, kaleidoscopic effect of their polychromatic splendor, in some cases introducing a shock value reminiscent of Hirst's sensational installations, such as is the case in the present lot Beautiful Axe, Slash, Gosh Painting. If Hirst's vitrines of mammals floating in formaldehyde elicit contemplations on life cycles by capturing these animals in a strange stasis between growth and decomposition, his spin paintings, with their implosive and explosive undulations of color, visually perpetuate a cyclical movement, refuting immobility.