L-Isoleucine T-Butyl Ester is a woodcut print from Damien Hirst’s 2018 Woodcut Spots series. Showing 11 rows of spots identical in size and shape, this vertical composition is an example of Hirst’s fascination with exploring colour. Each spot is a different colour and every print in the series represents a unique set of colour combinations.
The 2018 Woodcut Spots series is representative of a vast body of work in Hirst’s oeuvre that has become iconic to his name. There are over 1000 spot paintings in existence, dating from 1986 to 2011, where Hirst has produced an average of 60 spot paintings a year. The grid formula for these paintings is the basis for an endless series where Hirst can infinitely explore harmonious and contrasting colour combinations.
Fascinated by intuitive colour choice from his days at Goldsmiths, Hirst claims that the spot paintings have removed any problems he previously had with colour, allowing him to present a perfect arrangement of colour that is never repeated. Hirst explains 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 colour can exist on its own, interacting with other colours in a perfect format.”