H5-7 Café Royal is a print from Damien Hirst’s 2018 Colour Space series that shows an overwhelming number of colourful dots across the composition, set against a black backdrop. This print negotiates the artist’s ongoing relationship with dots that has been a constant throughout his oeuvre since his famous Spot paintings. Hirst’s Colour Space Paintings, which this series is based on, were first exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery in New York in 2018.
Much like Hirst’s original Spot paintings, the Colour Space series depicts a whole spectrum of bright colours in the form of perfect circles that are each the same size. Markedly different, however, is the rejection of the strict grid-like formula that governed the original Spot paintings. Hirst is well known for playing with mechanical and formulaic ways of producing aesthetically pleasing works, and this series is notable for its exploration of the systematic and the painterly, the logical and the expressive.
It is only in the later stages of Hirst’s career that he has become interested in prints and editions. His first print portfolio was produced in 1999 and was a set of screen prints that depicted medicine bottle labels. Since his first print portfolio, Hirst has produced many print series like the Colour Space portfolio.