Quisqualic Acid is a woodcut print by Damien Hirst from 2011. The print shows a perfect circle in blue, positioned in the centre of the square composition. Set against a plain white backdrop, this print appears like a drastically cropped version of one of Hirst’s more recognisable spot paintings. As a result, Quisqualic Acid is decidedly abstract.
Though drastically different in composition, much like all of the spot paintings that Hirst has produced in his career, Quisqualic Acid is formulaic and crisp in form. The blue spot is a perfect circle, with its clean edges and bright, flat colours deceptively indicating a lack of human touch in its production. In the 1980s, the spot paintings marked a shift in Hirst’s artistic career, where he began to employ assistants to complete the painstaking and laborious task of producing these works.
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. Quisqualic Acid is a study in blue, with the depiction of a single spot. It is striking in its simplicity and it prompts the viewer to think about colour, form and composition.