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Carbonyl Iron

Carbonyl Iron
Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Woodcut, 2011
Signed Print Edition of 55
H 80cm x W 80cm

Critical Review

The cold repetition and sterile aesthetic of the 40 Woodcut Spots series is reminiscent of Hirst’s early pill cabinet works such as The Void from 2000. Both works evoke a sense of endless sameness and directly allude to the realms of medicine and science. Indeed, the chemical name of each print in this series evokes a nondescript powder or pill that is abstract in its scientific mode.

In its depiction of many spots, methodically arranged, this print appears like a packet of medical pills, further exacerbated by the print’s title. Carbonyl Iron is formulaic and crisp in form, evoking a lack of human or artistic touch. Indeed, for many of the spot paintings throughout his career, Hirst employed assistants to produce them. This was part of the artist’s aims towards creating works that appear to have been produced mechanically, despite the way in which these prints and paintings are painstaking and laborious to produce.

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